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Penny Coomes & Nick Buckland look ahead to Olympic Trials

Olympic Blog

November 22, 2013 17:51 pm

With the British Championships just around the corner, it’s a signal that the Winter Olympics are edging ever closer!

As we build towards Sochi, it’s a very intense time for all skaters, coaches and support staff who are preparing for our national championships – our Olympic trials.

It’s a final opportunity to prove we have reached the standards needed to be selected for Sochi in February2014.

For Penny and I, the last two months have been a real test of strength.

After winning gold in Slovakia, I was told by my doctor that I needed a procedure performed on my heart.

Over the last few years, occasionally I experience an unusual racing heart when under stress and adrenaline, known as tachycardia. In July, I had a ‘Reveal device’ implanted under my skin to monitor any unusual rhythms.

At my local hospital in Nottingham, the results showed readings that were potentially dangerous for my health. I was told not to skate and to wait for news from Professor Sanjay Sharma and his team at St Georges Hospital in London who are experts in sports cardiology and dealing with elite athletes.

But luckily the experts felt the condition was not life threatening and could be cured by having a procedure, which was minimally invasive to help me recover quickly. I was amazed at how soon I was able to get back on the ice and we are moving in the right direction and feel in great form.

Competing in sport has its highs and lows but what sets athletes apart is how they bounce back from those lows. Resilience is the most important trait needed by an athlete because life constantly tests you. You never know what is around the corner; the only thing you can control is how you react to it.

Life constantly tests your character and being given the chance to bounce back from this has made me realise I’m ready for anything this Olympic season throws at me!

I want to thank Professor Sharma and Dr Behr for dealing with me so professionally and also to UK Sport for their support throughout. Their support has allowed me to continue with my Olympic ambition and beyond.

Better never stops!

Penny & Nick

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