Parmigiani Fleurier UK was proud to host an exclusive evening at the Atelier with its brand ambassador; Tom Ransley, Olympic Gold Medallist Rower. Guests were keen to meet him and learn about his experience in Rio. Tom took time to talk to guests and pose for photographs with his Gold medal, before giving a talk all about his journey to Olympic Gold. He shares his story with us…..
The days preceding the flight to Rio were filled with angst. Primarily directed towards the task of packing. Hours before my flight to Rio I was surrounded in a sea of blue, white and red. Team GB kit adorned/bedecked every inch of the flat. I hate packing. I meticulously reorder the contents of both suitcases, attempting to be prepared for every eventuality. The taxi arrived - calling time on my flustered packing. The flight itself was fine but the airport time either side was arduous. We arrived at our hotel late in the evening, ready to sleep.
The days leading up to the first race were an anxious wait. I wanted to know how we compared with the rest of the competition. I believed in the strength of our crew and I wanted to race. That said, there are always those quiet creeping doubts that keep you honest, that scare you: What if we aren't fast enough? A haunting question that could only be answered on the water come race day.
The Olympic final was an incredible race. I knew we were capable of delivering an extremely high standard performance. In our training and racing through the season we had developed a clear idea of what the perfect race should entail. We had attained a fairly consistent level of performance for each component of that perfect race. We knew that in order to win the Olympics, we had to deliver the complete race, to deliver each of those components back to back.
Our eight blasted out of the start and never deviated from that initial raw power-based rhythm. The sense of dominating and moving away from a field of elite eights is a truly awesome feeling. I put everything I had into those 5mins 29seconds. I was empty on the finish line. Completely drained. I could barely take it in. On the landing stage my body started to react to the total physical and mental efforts it had just been subjected to. I felt numb, surreal and spaced out. I felt pretty sick and my head was banging. I think someone sat me down and put a bag of ice on the back of my neck. The ice was bliss. It returned the world to focus.
Later that afternoon back at the hotel room I buzzed around in a state of tension-free happiness. I was very proud of my team. The following days consisted of a surreal and chaotic tour of parties across the city. I was struggling to absorb the realisation of a long-held dream. The constant sleep deprivation and partying did little to steady the ship. I returned home beyond exhausted but with the quiet satisfaction of a job well done. We had achieved our objective. The crew had delivered an impeccable performance in an uncompromising fashion. A performance that earned us the Olympic Gold.