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OLYMPICS: Francesca lives the dream
10:39am Thursday 9th August 2012 in All the highlights of our Wiltshire Olympians
HILPERTON’S Francesca Fox and her Team GB rhythmic group’s long journey to an Olympic appearance is due to end this afternoon.
And according to the self-funded Bath-based group’s coach Sarah Moon, the uncertainty over the team's participation at the London Olympics has only made them stronger.
The six-strong team of Fox, captain Rachel Smith, Louisa Pouli, Lynne Hutchison, Swindon’s Jade Faulkner and Georgina Cassar had looked set to miss out on the Games in January.
They missed the agreed score set by British Gymnastics in the group all-around qualifying competition at the test event at the North Greenwich Arena, meaning a nomination would not be submitted to the British Olympic Association for a host nation place at London 2012.
But they appealed that decision and independent arbitrator Sports Resolutions UK found in their favour in March.
After all those trials and tribulations, Moon sensed that her squad were tighter than ever as they prepared to become the first British team to compete in the discipline at an Olympics Games.
“It’s been a real whirlwind of a year with lots of ups and downs and lots of hoops to jump through.
“But we are here and we are going and we are extremely proud to be representing Great Britain and very excited to be a part of Team GB.
“The events that happened in January were very, very stressful.
“We had a very stressful six weeks and we had a lot of sleepless nights, but I think in a very ironic way it has made me and the girls stronger as individuals, stronger as a group and much more determined to succeed at this competition and to develop their life skills and how to manage yourself in these situations.
“They have been a great credit to themselves and the sport.’’