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, Rio-bound Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray discusses her pre-Rio training camp and sport as a unifying force.
Find out more about Samantha's homegrown hero profile here:
As I approach the final few weeks of training for the Olympic Games in Rio, it is comforting to be back at the training camp in Font Romeu, high in the mountains of the Catalan Pyrenees.
Training at altitude helps to increase strength because your body has to work harder in the altitude. In an endurance multidisciplinary sport like modern pentathlon, strength is essential.
We come to this training base frequently and it is rather like a second home. I love the peaceful atmosphere which provides an excellent opportunity to prepare mentally for the big competition ahead.
The food, as is the case everywhere in France, is excellent and I love the French language which I read as my major degree subject at University of Bath. French is one of the two official languages of the Olympic Games - the other being English.
It was with great sadness that I heard the news about the atrocity in Nice. At troubled times like this, I often think how sport can be a unifying force.
As an elite athlete, I compete internationally and have extended the hand friend of friendship to athletes from all over the world.
There are many cultural differences amongst athletes of the international family of modern pentathlon but the one thing we have in common is the love of participating together in our sport.
Participation is the spirit of the games because we all take part, irrespective of cultural differences. We love the competition, the chance to test our skill, strength and focus.
The willingness to participate allows spectators from all over the world to cheer for their own teams but applauded the winner regardless of who that might be or their provenance.
It is a joy and a privilege to be part of the Olympic movement for the second time.