Who’s this?

Not everyone at the BBC, or shortly to be at the BBC, is entirely ignorant of the kind of sacrifice and dedication required to make something of a sporting career.

This person, for example. I’ll tell you who they are at the end of the post, but see if you can second-guess me from excerpts from their account:

I wanted to be a tennis player, but when we moved to ***** in 1983 the city did not boast good facilities, so I followed my sister along to rhythmic gymnastics (a different discipline from what Beth does). I had done gymnastics on and off over the years, but at 10 it was time to knuckle down or quit. So I knuckled down.

At 14 I would leave ***** train station at 7am on a Saturday to get to ***** for 10am, train for six hours, and then travel home. Trains were a good place to do homework and to think. I got to know my body incredibly well and, while there are pressures to keep a low body-weight and a certain physique, I understood what my body was capable of and respected it.

When I finished competing, I found life a bit of a disappointment. Nothing could give me the thrill that performing did. I missed the training, the nerves before competition and the discipline gymnastics gave me. For a short while I regretted that gymnastics had been my sport. Why was I on the scrapheap at 17?

(Speaking for myself, I was on the scrapheap at ten, Barry scrapheap to be precise. Those who know will know how and why).

Darlings, it’s the one and only Gabby Logan – and here she is helping Martin Jol adjust to life in modern Britain:

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