Hodge hopes focus leads to gold
June 18, 2012 15:30 pm
Andrew Triggs Hodge is prepared to put his marriage on hold for the next six weeks as the Great Britain men's four rowing team commit everything to achieving Olympic gold at London 2012.
The British crew were beaten into silver place by Australia at the Munich Rowing World Cup regatta over the weekend and cannot afford any distractions as they work to find the necessary improvements.
Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory fly to Silvretta, a remote location in the Swiss Alps, on Friday for the first of two brutal training camps before the Olympics begin.
They will all make sacrifices. Hodge married Eeke, a former Dutch rower, last year. Gregory has a young son, Jasper. James and Reed have girlfriends but all four athletes are willing to do whatever it takes to win Olympic gold at Eton-Dorney on August 4.
"I have always liked Silvretta. You can cut yourself off and you can redefine yourself there without having to worry about all the things that make life cosy," Hodge said.
"We have got to strip those away. The Olympics is the only thing in our lives now. I will say that about my wife and about my family. If they want me to win, that is what I have got to do."
Reed believes the fact Australia have been in camp since before last month's second World Cup regatta in Lucerne was a key factor in their success at Munich. In Lucerne, Britain snatched gold with a late sprint but the Australians had too much in Munich, both in the semi-finals and the final.
"We haven't got the fitness and strength to beat a crew of the class of Australia at the moment," Reed said. "We have been at home where we all have things to sort out whereas, for the last three weeks, the Australians have been away in a training camp environment.
"It makes a big difference when you don't have to commute every day. Now we go away and we have to make sure that winning silver here is the best thing that has ever happened to us.
"Going to the training camp it will just be commitment. I will remember there is a crew out there that is faster than us at the moment. It may well make our preparation campaign. The Olympics are not over by any means."
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