Wednesday, 13 February 2013

OLYMPICS: Inside Insight 2

The second installment of my London 2012 Diary...........

.......Monday 23rd July

This morning we paid a trip to the 'International Zone' where there are LOADS of cool places like a photobook shop (must register!) and a salon. You need your accreditation to get in and out of the international zone even though it's still inside the park because it's one area where the media can get into. It was quite empty of athletes this morning because we're one of the first teams into the Olympic Village, so some volunteers (purple shirts) and journalists happened to catch me and Beth to talk about our 'first impressions' for the athlete newsletter thing, and we might be in that.

Took this photo of the view from my window. Love it! And it's SO sunny!

All I said was that we had just gotten here and I loved the fact that some of the other athletes seemed to have brought their country's sunny weather with them! Because it is GORGEOUS! Blue skies and HOT! We were sunbathing for a bit on the balcony of our apartment! Imogen is in another room opposite us on the corridor, and with the trampoline gymnast Kat Driscoll but came to ours (Me, Han, Bex, Beth) to hang out.

I am sharing a bedroom with Twiggy, and Beth and Hannah have their own rooms. I really like our little apartment already, it's cosy and homely and also stylish :)

Where was I? Salon. You can have free nails, beauty facials and makeovers, hair cuts and trims, or dramatic stylish hair cut changes, because we are athletes! Not just the GB lot, but all the athletes can get this, and they have a booklet which shows all the different country's flag nails designs that they can do. It's gonna be great in that final week, just gotta focus for the next 8 ish days, and try and forget about all the incredible perks. It's a suffering and a blessing having these opportunities, as we are tempted with all these options that could put us off from our training and the reason we are there- to compete!

Nails done at Olympic Salon
(Photo taken at later date than this post, after competitions ended)
Speaking of free stuff, we also got given a load of it on our beds when we arrived yesterday!

We got a bus shaped memory stick with some videos and information pre-loaded on, and another 'Pride the Lion' GB toy. The eyes freak me out a bit though. We got a white towelling dressing gown with TEAM GB on it of course, and a SUPERSOFT G.B blanket (that's my favourite, not that we need it in this weather!) Turns out we get to keep the London 2012 duvet covers after the Games too!! That IS awesome.

My bed
Free stuff!

Beth in her Room. Notice the GB teacup  in a box on her bed!

Been training now. Decided I hate the sun being in the gym because the halls are like greenhouses, it is SO hot in there! Even the Beams, Vault.etc store the heat in them which is just strange.
Floor is solid on your ankles but not too bad for bounciness. Vault run is soft but not sure yet about rest, fingers crossed will be good for my double (twisting yurchenko). Beams are nice despite being warm under your feet and bars I can't decide yet but I did 1 of everything (each skill) so should be fine... later I think doing a little more 'cos only did parts/basics this morning.

Going with Rebecca to get a drink, then training again! See ya x (18.06)
 p.s If we get a chance to leave the village at all I need to buy more blue tack to stick up the rest of my good luck cards, also dove moisturiser with gradual fake tan because I look so pale compared to everyone else, especially Imogen who tans practically instantly in the sunny weather at the moment, she looks like she's been in Africa for a year. Beth also tans pretty well. Rebecca and Hannah have already fake tanned so that just leaves ghostly me!


On the cute iPod shuffle that they gave to us in our kit there are pre-loaded 'ROARS' from the public, and one of them is under the title 'Ann Zhang' with a group of girls saying good luck. I wonder if it's the Ann Zhang that I know? Must ask her when I remember. Ann started gymnastics with me at my first ever club in Bristol, Fromeside.

Me and Ann (and my brother Jonathan)
at a balloon race outside Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre.
We were best friends outside the gym too!
We've only been here a day and loads of people have commented on the red trainers GB kit has! eg/ "We won't miss you in those!" and "Best trainers in the village!" :)

PIN BADGES. Thus far have swapped 1 with a Russian coach, for his pin badge, and a torch/keyring, but I didn't have any more to swap with after that, so Imogen got two!! -__- I'm going to put all of my GB ones on my accreditation and swap them from there so I've always got one to swap from now on.

AUTOGRAPH BOOK. Started that today. Got a load of gymnasts! Imogen drew a rude picture on the first page though, silly me giving it to her first! She didn't know it was to be a nice keepsake book. Typical Im! Gonna stick something over it so it'll be fine :)

Beth let me use her Dove thingy last night, in an attempt not to resemble 'Casper the ghost' (Amanda's description of me right now :( ). Determined to look like everyone else by Sunday!

Second session was good! (*phewwwwwww*) Did half routines, one step up from 'parts'/thirds we did earlier. SOMEHOW I finished first. This is most unlike me! I'm known for being late everywhere, last, and disorganised. It's not really fair, because no-one else is known for their flaws, but I can't argue with it.

Rebecca should be in bed right now but no-one's come around to check on her so she's just sat on her bed, munching a nature valley bar :) I don't think she minds being the 'baby' really. Yeah, she can't go out clubbing with us after the comps, and she gets checked on, but we all treat her the same as anyone and she is respected for her gymnastics like everyone else.

They're doing a dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony tonight so it looks incredible out the window at the moment, all lit up and changing colour, and a minute ago there was green smoke dramatically billowing out! I wonder what that part is? I bet it will be awesome. Ali (@alastair_little, Men's physio) said we might see some rehearsal fireworks tonight if we look out, unless we're already asleep by then.

Olympic stadium outside my window, looking great at night
The men's team arrived today, from France where they've been preparing. Went in their room for a bit and 'Taken' was on (great film). Danny P was in his dressing gown and the others were just wandering about/lying on the sofa in their boxers! JC'in. They said France dragged a bit so they're happy to finally be here today. They've not explored anywhere yet though. They've not seen Medical HQ (opposite us) which is so cool/techno and makes me feel healthy and looked after just standing in that building! Then there's The Globe games hut thingy which looks cool, the food court and the street food area (behind GB medical HQ)... they haven't even walked around yet. I told them about the salon too. They weren't interested? :P

Medical HQ

Ice bath room

Cool wall design

Sent James and Erika some pics off my phone, of our room, and a random decoration on the wall  in the ice bath room that is made up of messages from fans, that I thought was cool. They think everything looks amazing. That's because it is.

Everything's looking up right now, I hope it stays that way!

Better get ready for bed now.

Goodnight ^.^


Next Olympic Blog to be posted on March 1st


  1. This is so great Jen!!! So fun and interesting. All the stuff us mere mortals will never get to see or experience. Love the details like Becky sitting on her bed munching a Nature Valley bar waiting to be checked on...Such a funny picture, I literally LOL'd! Can't wait for the next episode... Don't skip out any tiny detail, especially any juicy gossip ;)
    Btw I'm sure there's a book in here somewhere... 'The Greatest Show on Earth - An Athletes View Behind the Scenes'. Ok, the title is a bit wordy but I'm sure you can come up with something better. Xxx

  2. Just reading this reminds me how exciting it was in the run up to the Games, even though I was just watching at home. I've only been seriously following gymnastics for a couple of years, and I saw you guys in Brussels and again at the British Championships in Liverpool. I watched the team announcement live online, and was so pleased that my favourites were there. I remember wondering what it felt like to actually be there, so this is fantastic to read - really captures the atmosphere.

    The fact that you have an autograph book makes me feel less sheepish about queueing up with mine in Glasgow - all the other people seemed to be families, and I was a solitary grown up! Will there be pictures of your autographs?

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