Tom toasts successful Olympics despite disappointing performance

I can finally say I am a two time Olympic athlete! Becoming an Olympian five years ago was beyond my dreams, I don’t think ever when I was growing up I thought I would go to one games let alone two.

The result was bitterly disappointing. 25th place was so far off what I was hoping, expecting and what many who tuned in thought they were going to witness. At every major championships I’ve finished since 2016 I’ve been in the top eight. It was the minimum expectation. I knew I’d be plagued by the hamstring injury all season, but that said I was fit, I had acclimatised to the weather conditions thanks to the wonderful work from my team and my medical team had done everything in their power to get me pain free come race day.

My body just couldn’t cope with the stress of the build-up and on that day I felt flat, lethargic and it took every ounce of strength to finish that race. I refused to give up, I told myself, at the half way point, that I wasn’t going to step off the race course today. All the months of work, sacrifices had to result in something, anything. 25th in the world is still a result that many would dream of at the end of the day.

The games themselves were a fabulous success. All the media’s negativity was all for nothing and the games were as business as usual, except for the lack of fans which again, was a really disappointing decision but the athletes tried not to let it affect them.

For me I was lucky as my event was on the road and so people turned out to watch and cheer. What we didn’t have was any kind of normal Olympic experience until we arrived at the village, three days after we competed.

Our races were held, due to the heat of Tokyo, at the other end of the country in a city called Sapporo. The facilities set on for us was a hotel with no outdoor space, food that would rival a very poor school dinner and training facilities on an old tarmac loop. So far away from what a lifetime of work would lead to for the experience of a lifetime at the Olympic Games and none of it could be down to Covid. It put a really negative taste in the mouth. Despite the disappointing facilities and accommodation we kept each other’s spirits up as Team GB always takes good care of its athletes and we looked out for one another to keep the cabin fever away.

Tokyo looked an amazing city. Along with the daily tests we were unable to leave the village (or the hotel in Sapporo) and I’d love to go back one day with Harry and experience Tokyo, the culture and the food.

The Japanese people were so friendly and welcoming, giving the impression it would be a fabulous place to visit, once Covid is finally behind us all. I was lucky enough, to be able to attend the closing ceremony, as we competed at the end of the Games we weren’t sent home as promptly as those who compete at the beginning of the games.

The experience will live long in the memory, for many different reasons compared to those from Rio 2016. But it was still an Olympic Games, one that given the way of the world was held fantastically! The IOC and Tokyo 2020 left no stone unturned to keep everyone safe and they should be celebrated for that.

The Olympics again brought GB together and we were able to celebrate with the whole team together for the first time, on arrival back to the UK at the home coming event. We even had a visit from the prime minister. That was quite an experience on its own!

For now I’m on my off season. No exercise for me. A few media bits, not as many as hoped as the performance wasn’t what I hoped. Still, I’ve enjoyed some weeks rest through August and importantly some well needed time with my family, Harry and of course my wonderful dog, Jess. Have a great summer, good luck with the new school term if you’re involved in that in one way or another and have a wonderful return to normality.

Thank you all for following my journey to Tokyo 2020, via a pandemic and becoming a double Olympian. Sorry I couldn’t return with a medal, but I learned so much and have loved documenting my journey here every month. Thank you all for your support over the last few months and years!

As ever feel free to get in touch via my social media @TomBosworth on most platforms and of course via my website www.tombosworth.com.