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First Olympic memories: Athletes share the stories that ignited their love for the Games

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Date
23 Jul 2020
Tags
Olympic News, Tokyo 2020, On the road to Tokyo
With just one year to go until next year's Games, Tokyo 2020 asked athletes around the world about their very first memories of the Olympics. In the first of three features, Tokyo 2020 speaks to Amy Hunt, Oswaldo Guimaraes, Elodie Clouvel and Bruno Hortelano.

Amy Hunt, Great Britain, Athletics

U-18 200m world record holder, European U-20 gold medal winner and Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopeful.

"My earliest Olympic memory was probably watching the Beijing Opening Ceremony. I think I was probably like six or seven. That's the first memory of the Olympics I have, seeing all the drums and drummers, that’s my kind of overriding memory."

"I must have watched Usain Bolt but I don’t necessarily remember it

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"So my first proper experience was London 2012 when I was in Year 5 at school, probably 10 years old. And that was insane, watching Jess Ennis. Obviously she was such a huge inspiration for me as a young girl.

"I massively used to look up to her. I reckon I definitely had a poster of her at one point on my wall. She was such an inspiration for me and such an idol.

"Watching Super Saturday was so inspiring and so incredible to prove that, yeah, that’s something I can do. I could reach that high as well."

Oswaldo Guimaraes, Brazil, Handball

Rio 2016 Olympian and 2015 Pan-American Championship gold medallist.The boy who regretted that there were no Games in his country in 2004 was able to compete in the Games in 2016 on home soil.

 "My first memory of the Olympic Games is from Atlanta 96. As a sports fan, it seemed like a gift to turn on the television at any time and be able to watch the competition live."

"The following year, I have the memory of the candidacy of Rio 2004. Although I saw 2004 as the distant future at seven years old, I was very excited by that possibility. Unfortunately, Rio did not manage to host the Games that year. But by chance they tried again for 2016 and this time it was a success.

"Life's coincidences: the boy who regretted that there were no Games in his country in 2004, was able to compete in the Games in 2016 on home soil. That was a unique experience and sensation in my life."

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Elodie Clouvel, France, Modern Pentathlon

"My first Olympic memory was Laure Manaudou in Athens 2004 when she became Olympic champion in the 400m freestyle."

"I was in front of my TV... 15-years-old. I wanted to become Olympic champion at a very young age but seeing Laure Manaudou winning in front of me, I was 15 and a swimmer at that time, about to join the sport study program, made me cry and realised that I really wanted to become Olympic champion. It became concrete and real. 'This is possible'.

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"She made me dream when she won in Athens. I remember the race, I remember the time by heart: 4:05:34. I can see myself sitting on this couch at my parents watching the final.

"This is my best Olympic memory. The one that made me realise that becoming Olympic champion was possible."


Bruno Hortelano, Spain, Athletics

"I'm a dreamer, I'm an artist and I continue to be a child. The same child that was eight years old and dreamed about the Olympics after seeing the Games in Sydney on the TV."

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"The eight-year-old child watching the Games in Sydney didn't imagine that he could compete in one, not one little bit. I only wanted to be the fastest child in my class, in Toronto.

 

Those were my Olympic Games."

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