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With just 200 days until the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, High Life's new columnist — and champion heptathlete — is confident of Team GB's chances
So, 2012 has finally arrived. I can't believe seven years have passed since I was lucky enough to be chosen — as part of the London 2012 bid team with Lord Coe and David Beckham —
to deliver a speech in Singapore to the International Olympic Committee members in front of the world's media. It was probably one of the most nerve-racking things I had ever
done and, for a girl who disliked reading aloud in class, well,
I've certainly come a long way! And so, too, has preparation for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Now, the countdown to London 2012 will really intensify.
The stage is set for us to welcome the world to Britain. The venues are ready and you can bet the athletes are desperate to get under way. In just over six months' time, the first medals will be handed out. New heroes will have emerged and perhaps a few world records will have been broken. But it's what happens in the minds of the athletes during the months leading up to the most important days of their lives that I find fascinating. Those anxious moments of wondering what your fate will be, whether you've trained enough and if you are mentally tough enough
to cope with the pressure of competing under intense scrutiny. That kind of question will soon be answered.
For the British athletes involved in this new era of sport, the word 'great' has been restored, with some remarkable world-class performances over the past few years. Team GB will endeavour to prove that all the investment in sport has made
a big difference to results and, therefore, it is vital that it
continues long after our Games are over. I only have to think
of athletes like Mo Farah and Dai Greene to know there is an
air of confidence surrounding the British team. We must not
lose that feeling.
To compete in front of your home crowd is what every athlete wants to do. Am I a little envious? Absolutely, but on the plus
side I will be working with the BBC as an athletics reporter, so
I will be trackside when history is made. So far, I've seen three
of the fastest men's 200m races of all time. Maybe Usain Bolt
will make it four this summer?
One thing is for sure, London 2012 is eagerly awaited. We have a city full of culture and diversity and, if the ticket sales for the Olympic Games are anything to go by, then our competition venues will be brimming with fans who are passionate about being part of history. And this will only inspire our athletes to rise to the occasion and make this a truly memorable Olympic Games.
Denise Lewis is a brand ambassador for British Airways, the proud airline partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.