Born in Preston and raised in Clitheroe, modern pentathlete Samantha Murray burst onto the international scene in 2012 when she helped the Great Britain team to European and world gold. Since then she has continued to carve out a name for herself, winning multiple world and European gold medals, including the individual title at the former in 2014. Samantha competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games, coming away with silver in the women’s event.
In her latest blog, Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray discusses the highs and lows of her recent trip to Rio for the Olympic test event
Find out more about Samantha's homegrown hero profile here:
I have recently been out in Brazil for the Rio test event and I had a pretty disastrous competition to be honest – but I just hope I have got my stinker out of the way before the Olympics!
Everything that could go wrong in Rio did. To start with I had one of my worst fences ever and then I wasn’t much better on the horse.
And then when it came to the shoot there was a torrential rain storm and I have never seen rain like it!
We weren’t just wet but we were absolutely soaked.
Also, the pistols we use have part of the electrical board exposed and due to the rain some of them cut out and wouldn’t work, and I was one of the unlucky ones.
So it was a pretty horrendous competition for me, but it wasn’t a total wasted trip as it was great to be in Brazil and to see the venues and have a look around ahead of the Rio Olympics.
We went to the modern pentathlon venue and had a look at that and I was really impressed with what I saw, even though they are not finished.
We also took in the hotel and the rest of the Olympic Village and went to the gym – all important places that we need to get used to ahead of the Games.
Everything was really impressive and looks really cool, even though it is all quite different to London.
The one thing I took away from it though was that it was really hot. It was 38 degrees most days and the sun can be really dangerous. If you were out in it for even ten minutes without any sun block on then you would burn so you have to be careful. We also haven’t had any sun in the UK this year so it was a big change!
All in all the trip made me feel like the Games are getting closer and it is all a bit more real for me now.
During London you knew it was there because it was all we were talking about at home but for Rio we are obviously more removed. So it was nice to get in the thick of it and have that reminder.
It wasn’t all work though as we also had some down time – we went to some of the beaches and had some really nice food.
We went to a restaurant out there where they give you a salad and then just give you all different types of meat on skewers.
They had lamb, beef, chicken, guinea fowl, you name it they had it and it was all really tasty.
These things are important to try out because you want to be as comfortable as you can when you are competing in a different country and the food is a part of that.
Obviously eating is a major part of an athlete’s life and it is important to feel confident and at ease with what you are doing in other countries.
It was pretty non-stop for me as over Easter as I was training on Friday and although I gave myself the Saturday off the rest and chill, I was fencing in Birmingham on Sunday and then I went to Rome for the next World Cup.
Tune back in soon to find out how Samantha got on in Rome