By Tanni Thompson
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Extra resources for Aim High (Quick Reads)
I have been asked numerous times throughout my career whether I am a ‘team player’, the assumption being that because I compete as an individual, I can’t be. But in truth there is very little that I do on my own. The only time that I am ever truly alone is when I am on the track competing. Wheelchair racing is seen an individual sport as opposed to a team sport. But in both kinds of sports you need a strong character and personality, and the ability to deal with adversity and success. Whichever path a competitor chooses to follow, you need similar qualities, and, if you don’t already have them, you need to develop them.
Having said that, sometimes you do have to share with a person you don’t 59 TA N N I G R E Y T H O M P S O N know very well, and then you just have to make the best of it, and not let little things upset you. Since I started competing I have kept a training diary. When times are tough it is useful to be able to look back and see what I have done. To the younger athletes that I coach, I also suggest that they shouldn’t only keep a training diary, but also a diary of the people that they race against.
Athens was a whole other event. I went through huge ups and downs in those Games which made me realise that, although wheelchair racing was really important to me, it wasn’t everything in my life. More about that later. 29 TA N N I G R E Y T H O M P S O N Competing for the national team can be amazing. I still remember when my first selection letter came through for a major Games. I didn’t know if I was going to make it into the team or not until I got the letter, and was so excited when I knew I was going to Seoul.