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WAG Olympic Preparation Camp, Update #6

Olivia Vivian, Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Olivia Vivian shares the final week of the WAG Olympic Team's preparation at the AIS.

Hello again!

I’m back with an update from last week at camp. It was a great week. At some point in the camp you can really notice a difference in the girls improvements and progress, and that was last week.
During the verifications, the Olympic team hit their beam routines all week. That’s a true sign that this team is on the right path and at the point where consistency is there.

Me on the other hand…. let’s just say the beam and I weren’t exactly friends on Friday’s verification. I did a beautiful back-sault (well at least I thought so), and when I went to step back, the beam had disappeared and I slipped off, banging my shin quite nicely on the way down. I got a great birthday bruise to show for it!

Another highlight was our 2012 Olympic Team Celebration function on Saturday night. It was a night that the girls' parents and family members got to fly in and see their daughters/sisters one last time before they leave for London. It was a beautiful event dedicated to the girls, their parents, coaches and staff, and it only happens once every four years. I personally felt privileged that I got to attend a second time.

What was really nice was having Gymnastics Australia’s president Grant Harrison, as well as Deb Waser from the Australian Sports Commission, in attendance. Since this night only happens once a quadrennium, it was atrue honor to have very important people like this show up to give their support. It also gave us quality time to meet Grant and Deb to speak with them, one on one, and to give thanks and show how much we appreciate their support. We don’t often get to meet the “behind the scenes” staff, as we are always too focused at our competitions. The media that were in attendance were amazed at our video montages and the individual journeys that all of us have taken to be there that evening.

Another guest speaker was 1996 Olympian James Miller. James was a Pole Vaulter at the Atlanta Olympic Games and gave us his perspective on what impact being an Olympian has had on his life. Also, he gave some insight into the role reversal that he has experienced being in an Olympic Coaches support system. James is also Martine George’s fiancé. It was a very inspiring speech.

Susanne Howell did a wonderful job with the logistics and organized fantastic Olympic themed décor and meals for the evening. Peggy did an awesome job providing us all with video montages of EVERYTHING. Now when I say ‘everything,’ I mean she had something for all of us. She did video montages on all us girls AND coaches, filled with baby photos right up until this very day. Peggy hand-picked a song for each of us that played during our montages, that she felt described our personalities, the hurdles we’ve overcome and our sense of humors; everyhting that has lead us to the Olympic camp.

It was so cool to see the journey of all involved and boy was it entertaining seeing baby pictures of all the coaches, including Peggy!
To top the night off, I was asked to speak and for all those that weren’t there to hear, I have written down the poem that I included in one my speeches;

The time is almost here,
Until our London team departs,
I can tell that they’re excited,
I can hear it in their hearts,

This camp has been a journey,
A rollercoaster ride,
I could’ve said it was easy,
But you know I would’ve lied,

To you girls, you’re not just my team-mates,
But more like my sisters,
We’ve worked through tough days,
And through all the blisters,

But we work for a purpose,
Towards one common goal,
We each play our part,
We each have a role,

To me it’s meant the world,
To be here with you all,
I’ve enjoyed every moment,
And every trip to the mall,

Now as you embark,
To represent our great nation,
Trust in yourselves,
And in all your preparation,

Enjoy every second,
And stay close as a team,
Always be aware,
That you’re living every athletes dream,

But never forget how we got here,
To this point of success,
Think of our coaches, staff and parents,
And how much they must stress,

To the parents we say thanks,
For supporting our goal,
We might not always show it,
But we appreciate your role,

To our coaches and staff,
We know we sometimes made it rough,
But somehow you got us here,
Even when times got rough,

And now on to Peggy,
I don’t know where to start,
She loves her job with passion,
Every beat of her heart,

The hours she puts in,
Don’t go un-noticed,
It pays off in our routines,
And I know none of you can protest,

We appreciate it all,
From your coaching to your pranks,
And on behalf of us all,
We would like to say thanks!

It truly was an amazing night, one that I will never forget. It really makes you grateful for all the work that goes into producing an Olympic team, because as it is said: it takes a whole village to produce an Olympian. I can honestly say, every athlete in that room is very lucky to have the village that we do.

Until next time,


Miller Family

Olivia, Georgia, Ash & MaryAnne

Monckton Family

Mitchell Family

John Hart with son Luke

Georgia Rose & Emily

Grant Harrison

Helen Colagiuri


James Miller (1996 Olympian)

Emily, Olivia, Peggy

Georgia, John & Tanya

Ash & Tracey
Gymnastics Australia Gymsports