Jessica Eddie update
I left you pre-Olympic Games, with great anticipation of what was to come. The Olympic Games were about to kick off in Rio, Brazil, my third Olympics and we were full of ambition.
As the flame was lit, and athletes from every corner of the world descended upon the first ever South American Games, our time had finally come.
My previous two Games had been a disappointment, not in terms of size or splendour, but in result. Fifth twice in the Women’s 8+ in Beijing and London left me with a sour taste in my mouth, and a great hunger to stand on that podium.
We were European Champions, World Cup silver medalists, and the fastest ever Great Britain Women’s 8+. This could have weighed down some crews, but I am so proud of the way this just added to our confidence, and we went on to win our heat qualifying directly for the final.
It was a long and emotional week, with everything you do being magnified or scrutinized for every last little split second of speed. I was fortunate to be amongst great friends and team mates, and we supported each other and grew strength amongst us.
The whole of Team GB started doing extremely well, and once the medals started rolling in we also knew what a privilege it would be to start adding to that tally.
The final came around, after GB rowing doing extremely well on the first three days of finals, it was now our chance in the penultimate race of the regatta to get some silverware. In all honestly that morning was super charged and emotional, a day I’d waited for for a very long time, a day to stand on the Olympic podium at long last. I had to push that emotion out of my head and just focus on getting my crew and I down that 2,000m course as fast as we could.
At halfway you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking we weren’t going to make that dream a reality. Passing the first two markers in last place, many had already written us off. That’s it for another Olympics, the GB eight would have to wait another four years to make that podium.
We didn’t let that stop us, we stuck to our plan, had immense belief in one another and stayed strong. Powering through the Canadians, then the Dutch, finally seeing off a talented New Zealand crew left us in second with only the Americans out front. Surging up to the last quarter of the race we knew we had a medal and now we could sniff that gold. With one final push we started moving on the Americans, the World and Olympic Champions, now was our chance.
The rest was a bit of a blur, with a nippy Romanian crew coming up on the right hand side of us, and all too quickly the finish line appeared. The USA had held onto the gold, in-fact absorbing our push and sneaking away a bit, The Romanians had a storming finish and almost pipped us on the line. But that silver was ours, and history was made. The first ever GB Women’s 8+ Olympic medal was won.
Meet Jess Eddie
Christmas is just around the corner and we want to celebrate with you! On the 19th of December from 3-5pm we have a very special event at The Exchange in honour of Olympian and Putney local Jess Eddie – she will be joining us with her amazing silver medal that she won at the Women’s Eights in Rio de Janiero this year!
Come down for photo opportunities with Jess along with signed goodies, face painting, fantastic giveaways from The Exchange retailers. Make sure you keep an eye on our Facebook page for exclusive updates!