By Tanni Thompson
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Extra resources for Aim High (Quick Reads)
51 TA N N I G R E Y T H O M P S O N ‘Individual’ sports are not necessarily about individuals. For some reason that I have never quite understood, people often want to split sport into two categories: ‘individual’ and ‘team’ sports. Competitors are seen as belonging to either one or the other. People talk about the differences in personality or character that are required for each. I have been asked numerous times throughout my career whether I am a ‘team player’, the assumption being that because I compete as an individual, I can’t be.
There are some things I would do differently now, but I know you cannot go back. You have to learn from every decision, even if it is hard to admit your own failings, and keep moving forward. Athens was a particularly difficult Games for me. I went into it as one of the most successful Paralympians of all time. I went in as British, European, World and Paralympic champion and record holder in a number of events. I 37 TA N N I G R E Y T H O M P S O N qualified for the Olympic demonstration race in the 800 metres, but didn’t compete well.
Having said that, sometimes you do have to share with a person you don’t 59 TA N N I G R E Y T H O M P S O N know very well, and then you just have to make the best of it, and not let little things upset you. Since I started competing I have kept a training diary. When times are tough it is useful to be able to look back and see what I have done. To the younger athletes that I coach, I also suggest that they shouldn’t only keep a training diary, but also a diary of the people that they race against.
Aim High (Quick Reads) by Tanni Thompson