Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

Sam Quek in international action

Each and every athlete embarks on their own personal journey when they being their quest for a place in the Olympic squad. The all-important selection email can’t come quickly enough but when it comes it brings all kinds of emotions. Below is a social media post from Sam Quek, the Great Britain defender set for her first Olympics. Read on to find out the mixture of emotions she has felt during the whole process.

“Today I can confirm that I WILL BE GOING TO THE OLYMPICS!!!

Words cannot adequately express how I feel at achieving my lifelong dream of representing my country on the very highest stage; at an Olympic Games. I am completely overcome with joy and happiness, along with an overwhelming sense of justice given the unbelievable amounts of hard work and hear wrenching sacrifices I have had to make in order to be in this position.

The “Road to Rio” for me, as many of you know, was not a smooth nor conventional one, but today’s announcement seems to put all of that into perspective.

I can tell you now, the moment I found out (via email) I was in tears of pure joy, elation, relief and proud that everything I had done had paid off... Along with screaming out a few expletives!! ��

I am not foolish enough to believe I got here alone, and have so many thankyous and apologies to make to people, who assisted and put up with me, whilst I chased my dream.

Firstly, I want to thank my family. Mum, Dad, Max, Mike, Shaun, Sam and Yaz, you have taken the brunt of those tough times and seen all tears of sadness, vulnerability and frustration. Even when I had to be selfish, seemed out of order, or became jaded and lost faith in this process, no matter what, you still had the time and words to help me return in the right frame of mind and become the fighter I am today. I will love you forever and please know that you guys motivate me to be better every single day, so that I can always make you proud.

A mention too for my amazing Nanna (Dolly) who is the strongest woman I know; this past year alone coming back from a broken hip/operation/separation from Auntie Ann as well as the sad news of losing my Auntie Barbra.

You have been my inspiration and helped me believe that nothing is ever impossible and I can't wait for you to see me step out there representing Great Britain at the Olympics.

To my friends, again, thank you and sorry! I know I have been an unbelievable let down at times missing nights out, birthdays, reunions, weddings, christenings etc for what is essentially (and being quite blunt) selfishness, as I did what I had to in order to achieve my dream. The test of a true friendship is time and no matter what has got in the way, no matter what I have missed, I know true friendship lasts forever. You have supported me through thick and thin and been a constant throughout my career. In the distant future, I will make it up to all of you.

To my boyfriend Tom and the dogs Max and Ollie (who ae basically my children!)… You have been my rocks. Back when we met, you took a huge gamble with me because you understood that my priority in life was my career. You understood the sacrifices I had already made, the hardship I had faced and realised all those would be in vain if I stopped then and there.

You entered my life when hockey for me was at its pinnacle, yet only a year later I was back down at my lowest. You lifted me up, gave me confidence, loved me and made me laugh when all I wanted to was cry. When required, told me a few home truths (even if I didn't like it at the time), and most of all made sure I never forgot what I was about. I could go on forever about all the things you do for me but I can't and never will be able to thank you enough for everything.

Finally, I would like to thank my coaches, the staff who have assisted me, my team mates and most importantly of all, the fans and my supporters. Without you and your relentless support, Hockey would not be what it is in this country, and I could never have imagined how much this sport that I love, would bless me with personally.

Thank you to every single one of you who have followed my journey. Whether you have sent me a message, liked a tweet, commented on status, or even held up a banner or sang my name at one of my games… whether it was in the early days on the side-lines at Chester Hockey Club when I was only 14, or now as I play for Great Britain in front of the nation and the world as part of Team GB; every single one of those words and acts of kindness has added to the reason why I kept bouncing back and helped me along the way. Who would have ever thought that the journey was actually along a road to the Rio Olympic Games?!

My highs and lows in Hockey are well documented, and amongst all the joy and elation I feel today, I would like one message to shine through… Never, ever, give up on your dreams...

In your darkest hours, you will question your motives, everything will tell you to abandon your path, but I am here to tell you to never quit, just fight back harder, no matter how hard it may seem. I have won many medals, most notably at Commonwealth Games and winning Gold in front of a home crowd at the European Championships… but I have also missed out on Olympic selection twice before, both in Beijing and most devastating of all the London 2012 games. Life can be fickle, especially in sport, as just last year I was captaining my Country in the Champions Trophy, only for a few months later to be dropped from the team as they went to qualify for Rio because I was struggling with injury… lows like that can break a person both mentally and physically, but in those dark times, the belief that this day would come kept me chasing the light at the end of the tunnel, that’s what champions do… that’s what Olympians do… so never give up on your dreams, because I didn’t, and now I am living them!


Thank you

Sam Quek – Olympian!!!!!!!!!”

Congratulations to Sam and all the other athletes selected. We are all right behind you!