The athletes who competed at London 2012 put in years of blood, sweat and tears to make sure they made it to the Games. But they’re not alone in their success - there’s always someone urging them on, offering motivation and meeting them at the finish line - the coach. After his bronze medal win, we spoke to the coach of British diver Tom Daley, Andy Banks, about the role he plays at an Olympic Games.
What is your role at London 2012?
I’m Tom Daley’s coach and a part of Great Britain team of coaches for the 12 divers we have here in London. Tom was involved in the synchronised diving where he just wasn’t able to win a medal, so we will work on that, but in the 10m competition Tom managed to get a medal. With the level of performance out there it’s been pretty tough. Tom works like a Trojan and it’s amazing to see the hard work pay off.
How have you enjoyed playing an integral part in the Games?
It’s been fantastic, especially on home soil. I think the thing that’s going to be my lasting memory of these Olympic Games is the home crowd and the amazing support that they give.
What do you think the Games will do for the country?
It’s really inspired people to take part in sport in general. I’ve seen news bulletins that have shown kids going to velodromes and they’re being turned away because the track is so busy. That, for me, sums up how sport will be affected by the Games – the increased involvement. I think there will be a lasting legacy and hopefully we’ll go to Rio 2016 with some more diving talent. I’m so pleased that we pushed for hosting the Olympic Games.
What’s it like seeing athletes like Tom progress from the Youth Olympic Games to the Olympics?
The Youth Olympic Games is a fantastic idea because it gives young people the opportunity to be involved in a multi-sport event. You get to live in an athletes’ village, there are big food halls, other athletes from different sports and different countries. Tom’s been able to come here and focus on his performance rather than the hype that someone usually feels at their first Olympic Games.