2012 is approaching

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Katherine Grainger (three-times Olympic silver medallist):

“I think that I’ve woken up on a few New Year’s Days in past Olympic years so I
know exactly what it means and what we have to achieve.

I’ll wake up, like everyone else, knowing how great the opportunity
is for all of us. But I think the difference is that this coming year I’ll expect
more messages from more people commenting on the year ahead, about 2012,
because so many more people are switched into the fact that it’s the Olympics
than ever before. So I think I will l be aware from day one of 2012 exactly what
it’s all going to mean.

Alan Campbell (Athens and Beijing Olympian and world single scull medallist):

I’ll probably think ‘oh no’ I’ve got to go out on the beach again [where he does
a lot of his training over the Xmas/New Year break] but I will probably be quite
excited too. We will be on that final run in and it’s been a long time coming in
some ways.

“| remember panicking when it was 1000 days to go to the Games. I was
thinking that we didn’t have enough time to do everything but now it’s really
upon us. We’re down to the last 200 days or so, I’m really excited I can’t wait
for it to start.

Hopefully, this will be my year. Not just for me but for British sculling, too. We
haven’t got the tradition that the sweepers have but at the same time it’s quite
a unique and special position we’re in. We’re not emulating something that’s
been done before. It is something that is new ground.

We’re hoping to do something similar to the women’s team since 2000 – to
develop success in the same way across the board. We don’t’ want to play
second fiddle to the sweep squad because as athletes we’re not second
class, we’re definitely first class and hopefully we’ll get the results this year
to match that. I feel positive that we have the right people around. We have
enough talent. We have the right mentality and now if we can make
a breakthrough we can build our confidence and move on from there. It can
be the start of a new generation of scullers for Britain.

Sophie Hosking (twice a World Championships lightweight double scull medallist):

“I haven’t really thought about what I will feel yet. I guess you can’t really
ignore totally what’s happening, especially as it’s so much more prevalent in
the media but I almost try to distance myself from that because I’ve got so
much work to do yet to put myself in the best possible shape. At the end of the
day I won’t radically change my training. It should be like any other normal
day and August 4th should also be like any normal racing day. It’s about
going and delivering a performance. Yes, I’ll be excited but I try not to get
carried away with six months’ time.

Andrew Triggs Hodge (Beijing Olympic gold medallist, men’s four):

“Thinking forward to London 2012 we are a big team, everyone’s pushing for it
at the moment. Everyone is fighting for those top seats. Already there is furious
racing going on. It’s great to be part of the team and I’m really looking forward to
it.

“We have young guys fighting out there for their first Games and their first gold
medal. They have to prove themselves over and over again and we’ve got to do
no less. If ever we think we’ve got our name on our seats, if ever we think ‘oh yes,
we’ve got this in the bag’ someone else will take the opportunity to improve and it
doesn’t matter if I’ve won it five times or not, you have to take your chance you have
to get out there and prove yourself. That’s the great thing about the sport we are
in. it’s so competitive – not least within our own team. We have a squad of 14
guys. They are all capable of winning a gold medal. It’s only going to be a few
guys who are in that top boat and working with Jurgen. That’s the boat I want to
be in and it all starts now with the rain and the drizzle.

“We are certainly looking to outdo Beijing. The men, the women, the lightweights.
We are so strong. So much stronger than we have been before. We have new
guys that have come in since Beijing and they are at the front of the pack.
Everyone is fighting so hard. It’s a great team to be part of. It’s really motivating.
Everyone’s just spot on.

“I’m sure everyone is engaged because it’s London but the training is never
any easier or harder. Everyone is committed. Everyone works so hard. It’s
always been the same. it was for Beijing and Athens. Everyone pushes so
hard. The standard in the sport is so high. We’ve got the predecessors in the
sport like Redgrave and Pinsent. They set the bar high and we’re looking to
push on from there. So it’s all guns blazing for London 2012 and this is the
first step”.

Tom Aggar (Beijing Paralympic gold medallist, men’s single scull):

“I think there will be that extra special sort of anticipation. It’s obviously going
to be that bit more of a hype around it because it’s the home Games. It will
be huge. I think that for us it is only the second time that rowing has featured
in the Paralympic Games and the interest has really grown. I think that across
the whole Paralympics there will be huge interest”.

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