One Rochford resident has two reasons to celebrate on 6 July.
Ann proudly represented Great Britain in diving at the Olympic Games in Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956 and Rome 1960. We spoke to her about her memories of competing at the highest level and her hopes for this year’s Olympians.
How do you feel about the Olympic Torch coming this close to us – in Rayleigh?
It’s very exciting! It will bring home to people the Olympic Games are on our doorstep.
Do you have a favourite bit of Rayleigh yourself?
I used to live in Rayleigh and two of my children live there now. I just love Rayleigh and it’s a lovely town.
You’ve taken part in three Olympic games – how did you prepare?
We didn’t have the training camps they’ve got today. I just trained as I always did, with my trainer. We just used to meet the night before the Olympics started and off we went!
How did you train back then?
I was still at school for my first Olympics and after that I worked in the Bank of England. I used to go to the pool at 5am to train, then go to school or work, come back again and go training at night. When I worked at the Bank of England, I ran, literally to Ironmonger Row Baths, because I was at St Paul’s, did about 20 minutes training there and then ran back to work.
You must have been motivated?
I loved it – loved it! I didn’t want to do anything else at the time.
How will our athletes be feeling now as the London 2012 games are so close?
I’m sure they’re confident and upbeat. That’s what you’ve got to have, confidence in your own ability and the help, because behind every successful athlete there are lots of people. I had my parents, my trainer and also the public who are enthusiastic for you – I think that’s very important.