help me up

Help Me Up

Toni, Jess and the guys have finally arrived in Rio.  I say finally, not because the trip was particularly horrific but because months and months of preparation are about to come to fruition.

Before considering the trip and Toni’s take on the much take on the much talked about athletes village, a short recap on the last few hours in Sant Cugat.

When I last spoke to Toni he was in a rush, it was 1200 Spanish time and he was packing his bags to go to the airport,

“Aren’t you meant to be out of the hotel by eleven?”

“I am but I’m talking to you”.

I consider this a bit harsh given that I’ve only just called but let it slide.  After all, I’m in Portugal on holiday and Toni is part of a team carrying the nation’s sporting hopes on their shoulders.

“I won’t keep you. Any last updates?”

fake smile

One of These is a Fake Smile

“A really good shot session Thursday evening, followed by dinner in the local square then a gym session with Mick yesterday morning”.

Ready to Train

“Did he beast you?”

“He destroyed me, naturally. Hilly is a monster”.

toni works his pecs

Toni Works His Pecs

“And you did a late training session with Jess?”

“Yes, a big eight hundred session last night. Continuing the adaptation to Rio time. That went well too”.

fish eye shot

Fisheye Shot

It’s the question I suspect everyone will want to know the answer to, so I ask it, “How is Jess?”

“She’s good, really good. We all just want to be there now”.

“I let you finish packing. Hope you all have a good trip”.

“Cheers fella”.

final massage from Derry

A Last Massage from Derry

Rio? This is Lisbon Calling

The rest of the blog posts during the Olympics will be built on conversations Toni and I have whilst I’m in Portugal and he’s in Brazil.  At least there is a Portugese theme running through our chats.

The team had a long wait at the airport due to their enforced departure from the hotel so Toni killed time by finally revealing the plan he’s been working to in Spain. It’s written on a napkin. Here’s the proof,

plans in pen

The Pedantic Amongst You Will Note This Plan is Written in Pen.

During their wait Alison also came to the rescue of a lady who feinted. I don’t have a photo of this but it’s good to know you can depend on the team in a crisis. Even if you’re not an Olympian.

“How was the trip?”

“It was fairly smooth really. A bit of a melee when we got to the airport as the bags were loaded onto a truck and we all piled onto a coach along with a load of German athletes. But all very friendly”.

“And what about Rio and the athletes village? There are still quite a few reports coming out about general disorganisation and poor standards. Does your loo flush?!”

room with a view

Room With a View

“I’ve got no complaints. I think it all looks good. I’ve got my own room and Team GB have made some nice homely touches.”

“What’s on your bed?”

“You mean my Olympic themed duvet? Apart from that, there’s some of my stuff, a teddy they give you, a dressing gown, my accreditation…”

“Any follow up after the Telegraph article?”

Note: The Telegraph picked up on the fact that Toni is currently planning to fly home on August 14th whilst the medal ceremony for the Heptathlon takes place. If Jess has made it to the podium it’s a less then auspicious way to end you coaching journey to Jess’ last Olympics.

“No, I’m resigned to leaving on the fourteenth now. I’m not accosting the only GB management rep’ in the village. It’s not fair”.

olympic quilt cover

This is What an Olympic Duvet Looks Like

“What’s the rest of the day look like?”

“Apart from the meet and greet this evening it’s just about settling in today and getting our bearings”.

“Enjoy. I look forward to speaking tomorrow”

There we have it. Arrival, anticipation and the joy of an Olympic Duvet.