Charlotte Cox

Athlete and Sports Personality

The Greek President, Karolos Papoulias, Tim Shriver, the President of the Special Olympics and Joanna Despotoulou of the Special Olympics Organising Committee

On the evening of Saturday 25th June all of the teams gathered outside the Panathenaic Stadium in central Atens for the opening Ceremony of the 2011 Special Olympic World Summer Games. The ceremony started at 8pm with some music then the Presidential Guards paraded into the areana for the arrival of the Karolos Papoulias the President of the Hellenic Republic of Greece.

It was then the turn of all the athletes to parade proudly into the arena.

Me and the GB Team entering the arena

When we had all entered the arena we enjoyed some wonderful music by the legendary Stevie Wonder, our Coach Tony really enjoyed this and was dancing away to the music.

Stevie Wonder in Concert

There was some wonderful dancing telling a Greek “odyssey”. This was followed by the raising of the Special Olympic Flag, the saying of the oath…………

Let me win! But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt!

The final part of the opening ceremony was the arrival of the flame, which was delivered into the arena on a winged chariot, and the lighting of the Special Olympic torch. The final part of the evening was a spectacular firework display.

The arrival of the Special Olympic flame.


The Special Olympic torch and fireworks.

Unfortunately a number of the countries, including Great Britain have been struck down with a tummy bug. So far I’m okay but not sure what affect it will have on the games. I start my competition on Tuesday with the long jump.

Me and my (big) kit bag.

It seems a long time ago that we were all sitting in the village social club raising funds to go to Athens and now the time has arrived. I’ve been packed for days and excited about going to Greece. In the build up to the weekend dad did an interview for Heart Radio in Peterborough earlier in the week and dad and I both did a telephone interview with Nick Fairbairn of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

We set off for Heathrow Terminal 1 at 2pm to meet the rest of the team at 5pm. We arrived in good time and immediately found the small contingent of athletes that had already arrived – the distinctive kit helped. We waited for all the team to arrive and then split into our regional travelling groups. We were issued with our games passes then we waited for boarding.

Mum, dad, Harriet and William left at about 5.30pm then we waited for our Aegeon Airways flight at 8.25pm. We were delayed taking off, finally departing at 9.05pm. Our flight arrived at 2.30am local time and then it was a four hour coach ride a two hour boat ride to the island of Skiathos – our home for the next four days.

We stay on the Mama Mia island of Skiathos until 24th June then we return to Athens for the competition.

You can follow what we are doing on you tube, as Coca Cola are doing 3 videos which are on you tube, here is the first

This morning 7 athletes from the Special Olympics Squad were invited to go to Downing Street and meet the Prime Minister.

So Mum dropped us off at Royston Railway station and we made our way into London, we had to wear our GB kit and Dad bought a new tie!

We arrived at Downing Street and did all the security checks, as it was raining they let us in early so we had quite abit of time to wander around the top floor, I got to sit in the PM’s Chair in the cabinet room.   David Cameron then came and met us, asking us all a different questions , when he heard I would be doing the relay he said I hope you dont drop the baton at that point Darren Campbell hid.   It was a really lovely day both Darren and Beth Tweddle came to support us.   We had lots of photos and then left.

In the evening we were invited to the Greek Embassy the Ambassador gave a receiption for us, I had Champagne!

Here are some of the photos:

Outside No 10 with Prime Minister

 

Greek Ambassador

You can also see me and team as we get ready for Athens on the Coca Cola site:

We had an early start today.   I did my longjump first, only managed 2.45 which against my pb of 2.90 was not as good as I wanted, but it was enough to secure 1st position and I got my third gold medal

My last event was the 400m, not one of my favourites and it was very hot, I really surprised myself with my time of 1.23 my previous pb was 1.39 so winning my fourth gold medal with a pb and a new world record was a very good high to end the games on.

4 Gold Medals from IAADS European Championships - Sardinia June 2011

Sardinia has been great, overall the GB team came 3rd so we got to bring home a really lovely trophy.   The Italians were great hosts, gave us a brilliant competition and treated us very very well.

Had to leave before the closing ceremony to catch a flight home as I have a important appointment tomorrow but more of that later.

Today I competed in the 100m and 200m sprints.  The competitions were a little unusual as we were not permitted to do down starts.  This caused a lot of upset for many of the competitors who had been training and practicing this for so long.  To add to the confusion all the starts were in Italian rather than the official language of the IAADS, English.

In my first event the 100m I was not used to the starts and gave the rest of the competitors a head start but managed to win in a rather slow time for me of 16.4sec.  So the first national anthem played at the games was the British national anthem.

In my second event Mum stood by the start and gave me the commands in English which helped tremendously and I raced home in first place in a time of 34.8sec.

Click this link to view a video of me in the 200m race

 

Two races and two Gold medals – very pleased and very proud.

Thursday 2nd June 2011 Mum and I set of early for our flight to Cagliari in Sardinia for the first International Athletic Association for persons with Down Syndrome (IAADS) European Athletics Championships.

The games form part of a festival of athletics with paralymic competitions starting tomorrow (preparations for the Global Games)  and the IAADS games beginning on Saturday.  I am competing in the 100m, 200m, 400m and the long jump.

We were greeted at Cagliari airport by a welcoming committee of games officials and whisked through all the arrival formalities and taken to our hotel.  Our hotel is very close to the athletics track and we will be able to walk to the events which will be nice.

I am very proud to have been chosen by Coca Cola to present 3 video interviews over the next few weeks in the build up to our team going out to Athens and one of them will be when we are in Athens.

I want to share the first interview I did with you so please check it out

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyKVsh8zgeA

Big thank you to Jen & Sacha for helping me with this and also my coach Bryn and all my team mates at Cambridge and Coleridge AC.

Keep watching we need your support

Charlotte XXX

This was our last training camp for the whole team, we trained on Saturday, had a disco in the evening and then on Sunday we had team photographs.

Everybody is really excited and wants to do there best for GB.   I am a little nervous but looking forward to seeing all the team  in Athens.

Although this was our last “Team” training session I am still doing my three weekly training sessions with my coaches Bryn and James at Cambridge and Coleridge AC.

 

Today I competed at Disability Sport England (DSE) regional championships in Ipswich. I Won 3 gold medals in the 100m, 200m and the long jump.

I would like to say a big thank you to Steve at DE sport for allowing me to put the pictures they took on my blog for you to share

 

100m Sprint

Long jump

200m Sprint

DE Sport have lots of photographs of the day on their site

On Saturday I took part in the first club match of the season for Cambridge & Coleridge Athletics Club.  It was a Southern Womens League match at the Dow Track in Kings Lynn in Norfolk.

I took part in the long jump, the 100m, 200m, the shot putt and the 4x100m relay.   It was a sunny but very windy day. 

No great times but a good run out for the club and nice to be part of the team.

The Dow Track, Kings Lynn