By Tanni Thompson
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Extra info for Aim High (Quick Reads)
It was a tough training year, and there were many other calls on my time. By the time I got to compete at the Games, I knew that it was going to be difficult for me to do well. I had qualified for the Olympic Games demonstration race, coming fourth overall, but the Paralympics were going to be different. As it happens I raced well, broke several of my personal best records, and came away with one gold medal and three silvers. But there were members of the team who were disappointed, and felt that I had let them down.
I knew another who was convinced that he couldn’t perform unless he listened to a certain piece of music before he went on to the track. The day that he got to the 58 AIM HIGH track and the batteries died in his CD player was a disaster. He had nobody to run around and find batteries for him and he was too stressed-out to do it himself. He didn’t get to hear his music and he fell apart. I have never believed in using such routines, because I know how bad I am at temporarily losing things! I do have a routine that I use for warming up, but it’s adaptable.
31 TA N N I G R E Y T H O M P S O N My first final was the 800 metres. I remember sitting on the warm-up track and feeling quite calm. But then, talking with a couple of the coaches, I started to feel nervous. I heard that the stadium was full. My sister was in the stadium – she had been there for several hours making sure that she got the best seats near the finish line. I got a message to her and told her what my race tactics were going to be. The plan was that I would sit in lane two on the edge of pack and wait for a sprint finish.