Sailor Annie Lush insists the desire to hang an Olympic medal around her neck still burns inside of her despite a change of tact after London 2012.
After missing out on a place on the plane for Beijing in 2008, Lush made her Olympic bow last year down in Weymouth alongside sisters Lucy and Kate MacGregor in the newly created Elliott 6m class.
The trio formed in 2010 and despite winning gold and silver in the two World Championships in the years before the Games, London 2012 didn’t go according to plan as Lush and co finished sixth, failing to advance past the quarter-finals.
With the Elliott 6m class’ Olympic lifespan being short-lived, the event being removed from the sailing programme for Rio, Lush has turned her attentions to the Volvo Ocean Race following her Weymouth adventure.
But the 32-year-old admits that she hasn’t given up the hope on climbing the Olympic podium just yet – even if she is unsure what the future holds.
“I’m still reflecting on the Games really and we didn’t come away with the result that we wanted,” she said.
“But I didn’t think I’d feel so good about the Games having got the result we did and I think that was because it was a home Games and it was really special.
“I’m currently training for the Volvo Ocean Race so I’ve taken leave from the Olympic programme which was a hard decision because I didn’t get the medal I wanted and I love the programme so it’s hard to walk away but I’ve always wanted to do a bigger race.
“I’d love to be involved in Rio in some way and I miss sailing with the girls and if I can add anything at a later stage I’d love to.
“But right now the focus for me is the Volvo and if I do that it means I won’t be able to do 2016 because the timing will be too close. I’m not stepping away from the Olympic programme totally.”
Lush couldn’t have chosen a much different event to task her arm at, with the Elliott 6m class involving short races and the Ocean Volvo Race being one of the longest.
But she is adamant a change of scenery will benefit her in the long run.
“Training and preparation is very different to the Olympics because I’ve gone from the match racing at the Games, which was the shortest racing there was at the Olympics, to the longest race you can do around the world,” she added.
“And I’m not as experienced as an off-shore sailor compared with the girls I’m training against but I did a trip from Southampton to Lanzarote a few weeks ago and I loved the boat and the team, it was a real test.
“It’s been a lot of fun so far but I’m sure next week will be a lot of hard work, fitness testing and so much to learn.”
© Sportsbeat 2013