Even now the incredible finale when David Florence and his partner Richard Hounslow narrowly missed out on canoe slalom victory at London 2012 gives him goosebumps but the Scot insists securing the Olympic gold that has so far eluded him is not the sole motivation driving him forward.
Florence is a British canoeing legend. He was the first Brit to win the C1 and C2 World titles in the same year in 2013 while he has a silver medal from both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
This season he has clocked up World Cup silver and two bronzes in C1 and European bronze in C2 with Hounslow.
And with the World Championships returning to the UK for the first time in 20 years when action kicks off tomorrow at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, Florence can’t wait to get going.
“It is a really big World Championships and for me the Rio Olympics in 2016 is a huge driving factor in why I have been competing in the last few years,” said Florence, who now trains at the London 2012 venue which will host this week’s Championships.
“I am normally much more driven by the next race and performing well there and getting to the next Olympics, rather than particularly dwelling on I could have done better in the last race.
“Having been to two Olympics and knowing how exciting it is and what an amazing experience it is – not to mentioning knowing what it is like on the podium – is a huge drive to get to Rio but I don’t really feel that I’m trying to get there to right something that happened in the past.”
This week’s competition provides paddlers with the chance to secure Team GB quota places for Rio 2016 while also boosting the British individual’s standings ahead of their Olympic trials next month.
Although Florence is not getting ahead of himself.
“I don’t really set medal targets in that sense. I know I have a good chance of getting a gold medal if I do well but for me it is about getting on with my own performance and if I can put in runs that I am pleased with, even if I am fourth then so be it,” he added.
“I certainly know, and the evidence suggests, that if I perform really well then there is a chance I could end up on the podium.
“But there is so much that can go right or wrong on the courses. There are times when I have had runs that I didn’t think were great and I ended up on the podium and there were times where I had an absolute dream run and I finished third or fourth.
“So all I can do is put in the best runs I can and then I can go away pleased.”
© Sportsbeat 2015