Niki BirrellSometimes it feels like the Paralympics was all just yesterday - sometimes it feels like it was a lifetime ago. A lot's happened in the last year since we were on the Paralympic podium. I've been doing lots of other sailing and a few other things, which has been good. I've had a nice year to chill out a bit, but now I'm fully ready and pumped to give it everything again ready for Rio in 2016 and we made a great first step last weekend when we won our fifth straight SKUD World Championship out in Ireland.

I still have mixed emotions about our bronze medal. Obviously I'm very proud to have a medal from the Paralympic Games in 2012 - that's what you do it for, and in reality that's what the whole British sailing team is about. You can win five world titles and that's great, but realistically the team is about Paralympic and Olympic medals. I think our team manager Sparky would have preferred us to have won bronze and have no world titles than to have ten world titles and have come fourth at the Paralympics.

From that point of view getting a medal was fantastic as it kept the National Lottery funding alive for Paralympic sailing in the UK - and it was a great job by Helena [Lucas] for that as well. Ultimately though, I am a bit disappointed with bronze. I think we could have done better than that. Everyone asks whether we're gutted we didn't get silver on the last day, but I'm not really. I don't think it would have made any difference - at the end of the day we let the Aussies get away and take the gold medal, but that's OK. Bronze is what we got and we'll just have to try our best to make that different next time around.

I'm very proud to have a medal from the London 2012 Paralympic GamesI'm very proud to have a medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games

We knew the Paralympic regatta wasn't going to be easy, but the facts are that we're pretty much favourites in every single event we do so it's just normal to have that expectation on us going in to an event. I don't think that contributed to the pressure. The other sailors raised their game at the Games and sailed better than they have done before and we had a tough week. A few things didn't quite go our way, but it's a bronze medal and it could be worse. We've got funding through to 2016 and another chance to go and win a gold medal then. I'm sure Alex [Rickham] and I will get another shot at it and we're hopeful that we can go better.

I like all sports so there were some great moments for me during the Olympic and Paralympic Games - like watching Jessica Ennis absolutely nail it. We've talked about pressure - we weren't under pressure really at all compared to her. She was the face of the Games, so she was under pressure, and she absolutely smashed it.

But as we're sailors after all, I also particularly enjoyed how Luke [Patience] and Stu [Bithell] were with their silver medal, because I've known them an awfully long time. To see them win their silver medal made me think, "right, we need at a least a medal here". Watching my friends do that was pretty much the stand-out moment of the Olympics for me.

During the Paralympics there were lots of awesome moments. We had a nice meal with the team after the medal ceremony which was great. I really enjoyed standing on the podium as well, obviously. It felt like all those people were there just for Alex and I.

The best moment though was when we went up to London. When we went to the Bird's Nest after Beijing 2008 and watched the athletics and some other things, the stadiums were empty, all the posters had been ripped down. That's just the way it was, but in London the whole stadium was packed, the arena was packed, every other venue around the place was packed. There were what looked like millions of people around the Park, and that was when it hit home that the Paralympics had been a huge event in comparison to what it had been previously. I obviously wasn't there for the Olympics, so I don't know, but it's exactly what I imagined the Olympics would look like. That was pretty cool for me.

Hopefully we'll get another shot at a gold at Rio 2016Hopefully we'll get another shot at a gold at Rio 2016

Let's see how Rio goes in terms of the legacy for Paralympic sport and disability awareness. I know in the UK Channel 4 and the media did a great job and the Paralympics was portrayed in the way I think it should have been. That was fantastic, but we can't dwell on that forever and Rio needs to be treated just as well, if not better if possible. Let's hope that happens.

We've got a gold medal now at every Championship except the Miami World Cup and the Paralympics - we'd love the full set, although I'm not really that bothered about Miami if I'm honest. We definitely want to win the Games, we know it's not going to be easy. We expect two or three more key players to come back that weren't at the recent World Championship, but we think if we sail well then the gold medal is within our grasp. I wouldn't be doing this any more if I didn't think that. Let's see if we can go and do the work and try and learn from the mistakes. Although we did go to China in 2008 we only had a few months together before it, so London was what I see as my first real crack at it. We definitely made mistakes looking back, so now we've had a chance to analyse those mistakes hopefully this time we can do it better.

We've highlighted a few areas to improve on with our coach, there are areas on our boat that we can improve on and I think also the team that spends the most time in Rio from what I've heard will have an advantage. I think it's going to be quite a tricky venue tactically with the tides and the wind shifts, the land masses and the climate.

Getting a good grasp on the Rio strategy and tactics will go a long way to deciding where the gold medal goes and I'm desperate to get out there so we can get ahead.

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