Blog: Maria Bertelli - Bursting with Pride

Sitting on the coach heading back up North, I was planning to do some jobs on this journey but too many photo’s, emails, tweets and Facebook messages to look at. I have been in an Olympic bubble for at least 3 weeks; I’m not going to lie, I am tired and am looking forward to some time at home but right now i still feel totally exhilarated. Please don’t burst just yet!

Daley Thompson & Sally Gunnell were my Olympic heroes when I was young, add to that Sir Steve Redgrave and Kelly Holmes from my athlete years - I cried with pride so many times watching them, I used to think they were super humans because they were Olympians. I am officially an Olympian…never, ever, ever did I dream I would be able to say that.

The moment history was made!

I have so many thoughts in my head and I cannot stop smiling - inside and out. I cannot express how proud I feel right now; of myself, of my teammates, of our amazing coaching and support staff and of our families and friends. Against all odds, we made ourselves Olympians, WE made it happen, we deserved to be representing GREAT Britain at London 2012. Cliche as it might sound, for five years we have said ‘we do not want to be there for the experience or the t-shirt’; we had our performance goals which were tough but realistic. We believed in them, we achieved them - we beat Algeria; African Champions ranked 53 places above us, we got ourselves into a position where we had the chance of qualifying for the Quarter finals…I think the only squad of all ‘development’ sports to do so. We achieved what we set out to do, in the way we wanted to do it - seizing the opportunity, professionally, with exuberance, with belief, with smiles on our faces and enjoying absolutely every moment.

My personal pride is made 100 times more with the the pride I feel of London 2012; of the organisation, of the venue, of the volleyball events team, of the British Olympic Association, of the smiling infatigable volunteers, of the delightfully humorous tube drivers, of the unbelievable crowds and even of the good old British weather. The BOA slogan of ’541 athletes, 60 million strong’ could not have been more true.

GB - Plenty to celebrate!

As with every other patriotic Brit right now, as you can tell, I am absolutely bursting with pride! I feel I’m a modest person and don’t often talk about success or achievement in any context but we have something to celebrate - as individuals, as a team, as a sport and as a nation! Well done to every person who made the Games what they were - unforgettable!

THANKYOU London!

Yours,
Very proud Libero

 

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