Coming home after Rio was an incredibly exciting time for anyone and everyone involved and yes the BA flight home was pretty enjoyable!
Those are the fun times as a squad that you remember and rightly so you should enjoy when you become Olympic champions. However, with the team being off social media for the Olympic games, I don’t think we quite realised the impact of our success and what we were coming home to. It started at Heathrow and then it just grew, jam packed full of school appearances, hockey club visits, corporate events, invitations to shows, the list just continued and I just loved the variety and exposure for hockey.
I don’t think we quite realised the impact of our success and what we were coming home to.
One thing, I for sure found a taste for champagne! It seemed every gathering was another night to crack open a bottle and celebrate. I don’t think I came back down to reality for a good month or so. I just used to sit and look at the medal; “we did it” and “this is all I have ever wanted” were some of the thoughts that filled my head, followed by a huge smile. I wanted to share feeling with as many people as possible and also inspire them to achieve their dreams too. That was one of the main reasons for heading back to my hometown and doing a schools roadshow around Oldham.
First though, a holiday! I couldn’t wait to go and travel around Vietnam with my boyfriend and I was ready for the mental and physical break. I was tempted to take the medal with me, but that would be 1kg less in baggage allowance, which we all know as ladies we need to make the most of, so it stayed back home. Our favourite part of Vietnam was a place called Ninh Binh, with its stunning landscape it is also known as, Ha Long Bay on land. I even learnt to ride a scooter and we drove the famous Hai Van Pass as part of our journey up the east coast. I remember watching this on Top Gear and it was so much fun to do it ourselves.
Retuning home, the events and appearances we made in the coming months were fantastic fun. From the Team GB parade in Manchester to meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace, to Sports Personality of the year, to Great Ormond Street Hospital, I loved every single one.
These are just a handful, but we couldn’t be together at all of them as there were just so many. In terms of awards, GB Hockey won team of the year at the Team GB Ball and BT Action Woman of the Year and we were nominated for SPOTY but unfortunately lost out to Leicester City FC. We also were voted BBC moment of the games and to think that 9 millions viewers tuned in for that epic final match it just overwhelming. The hockey family certainly had lots to celebrate and thank you again for your amazing support.