Greg Searle: Now it's confirmed I will compete at London 2012 I want more
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
For me, selection is a massive milestone on the way to the Olympics but it is still not enough. On the day Jacques Rogge announced London as the host city for 2012, I think the first seeds of my comeback were sown. I was running a workshop – we had a group discussion about 2012 and someone asked me what I visualised myself doing at the Games. I said my dream was to be an athlete and that anything else would seem second best to me.
Now it's confirmed I will compete, barring injury, I still want more. I am proud to say that I have retained a seat in the eight, the boat I have competed in since my return in 2010. Having won two silvers in the World Championships I am hungry to make it gold in London.
Back in January, Jürgen Grobler told me that, as long as I maintained my level of performance within the team, I'd done enough to claim my seat. It was a very emotional moment for me, particularly as I was having a bit of trouble with my back at the time, so his faith in me meant a lot. I actually welled up when he shook my hand as I'm not sure up until then if even I had realised how much this meant to me.
So far this season has been a bit frustrating as we have had to race both World Cup regattas with substitutes. Despite doing well to come away with silver twice, we still do not know how fast we can go with our full crew. Yesterday we only announced seven names plus the cox for the eight. All being well our injured man will recover in time for the Olympics. Watch this space to see who claims that final seat in the end.
We learnt a huge amount during our races in Belgrade and Lucerne. As we expected, the Germans are still very strong, but we have also now had a chance to race Canada, the reigning Olympic champions, and Australia, plus the Americans are yet to join the field. We compete in the final World Cup regatta in Munich next weekend, which is our last chance to test out race plans before we head off for our final training camps and then the final showdown at Dorney.
I am looking forward to collecting my full Olympic kit on the day after Munich before we fly to Austria for altitude training then Portugal for final honing and tapering. I feel slightly sad that we will be out of the country for the build-up to the Games as I think there will be a real sense of anticipation and excitement as the Torch continues to head to its final destination in the stadium. We have also decided not to march in the Opening Ceremony as we race the next morning so, unless they ask me to light the Flame and offer a helicopter back to our hotel, I will be watching it from the comfort of my bed.
If you want to follow our races then the World Cup will be live on BBC2 on Sunday, June 17. Our Olympic races are Saturday, July 28 for the heats, then Monday, July 30 if we have to go through the repechage - we are aiming to avoid this by winning our heat - and the finals are Wednesday, August 1. That date has been imprinted on my brain since the schedule was announced and now I can't wait to get there.
Greg Searle is a BT Ambassador. BT is the official communications services partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more details click here.