Countdown to the Olympics with sprinter Sophia Warner (week two)

Sophia Warner
Sophia Warner

As part of the countdown to the Olympics our weekly column comes from local athletes in the build-up to London 2012.

THE past month has been all about competitions and is probably the most stressful time of the athlete’s year.

It is all about seeing whether the months spent over the winter, in the gym and on the track has worked. The GB Paralympic team are all fully aware of the standards required to qualify for 2012 and competitions are where it counts.

I have raced three times in the last three weeks in IPC (International Paralympic Committee) sanctioned races and have reached my standards in all three events.

The most significant event was the Grand Prix at Crystal Palace which was by invitation only and where the nation’s top paralympians were showcased.

It was still a disappointment from a disabled athlete’s point of view as it was not publicised at all and the different disabilities not explained to the general public.

This meant that, although there were lots of supporters there for the main event, they didn’t fully understand what they were watching.

This could have been a perfect forum ahead of 2012. That said, I still ran a great race and am consistently showing great potential for next year.

I have always enjoyed being part of an able-bodied squad and this coming week I will race for the first time at an able-bodied race on my home turf at Withdean.

Although it is mentally challenging to always come last at these events, I really enjoy racing within my local community and hope that this will be where I can produce a great time.

Off the track, my two children have been on school holidays, which poses further logistical challenges to my training.

I have had my first-ever photo shoot with one of my sponsors which was great fun but my favourite event so far was hosting the Olympic torch on Brighton seafront all day.

More than 1,600 people came and had their photo taken with the torch and I was lucky enough to get a photo of me with my family holding the torch by the West Pier. Definitely a priceless picture!