Missing out on the final of any tournament can be difficult to take but when it’s an event you’ve worked towards for four years, it can be heart-breaking.
Nicola White and Georgie Twigg know that feeling well, having lost in the semi-finals of the London 2012 Olympics.
Four years later and faced with another chance to reach to reach the final of hockey’s pinnacle event in Rio, they were determined to make up for it.
Speaking on #InsideTheCircle: The Podcast, White recalled how she and her team-mates felt leading into the first ever Olympic final for a GB women's hockey team.
“For me, the disappointment of not making the final [in London], when I went to bed on the night before the semi-final I had that in my head. I had the disappointment of that, almost a flashback to that moment of what happened and how distraught we were.
“It’s a horrible feeling to lose out, when that thing that you’ve chased for so long has just gone.
“Contrast that to [24 hours later when] we’ve got a chance at it, the dream is alive and we’re going for gold. It was like ‘oh my God, we’re going for gold. It’s here, the moment we’ve all been waiting for’.”
The squad booked their place in the final with a 3-0 win over New Zealand, sparking joy amongst the players and staff on the pitch after the game.
It was a hard fought affair though, with several players taking heavy knocks in a brutal encounter. Twigg was one of those, sustaining a nasty blow to her jaw which led to a slightly uncharacteristic response when GB emerged victors at the end of the game.
“To be honest, I was all a bit phased because I got hit in the semi-final,” she recalled.
“Actually I was very emotional. I had a very weird reaction; I remember crying after the semi-final and my mum saying ‘Georgie, are you ok? What’s wrong?’ I was just overcome with emotion.
“It had been one of those games where so many things had happened – there had been four injuries – and I was still a bit unsure as to what was going on with my jaw, I had to go and have scans afterwards. So that was probably quite a good distracting thing for me.
“There was no question I would be playing in that final, 100%.”
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