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GJW Direct 2020

World silver medallist Charlotte Dobson gives a glimpse into Olympic training during lockdown

by Laura Connell 9 May 2020 15:07 BST
Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey on day 3 of the Volvo 49er, FX, Nacra, European Championships © Nick Dempsey / RYA

Team GB Olympic sailor Charlotte Dobson took over her former school's Instagram account, sharing what a day in lockdown looks like for an Olympic athlete.

The former Lomond School pupil who represented GB at the Rio 2016 games, streamed from the social media account giving an insight into her fitness regime and the importance of resilience.

Following the announcement to postpone this year's Olympics, the British Olympic Association (BOA) and Royal Yachting Association (RYA) confirmed that Dobson would retain her place in Tokyo competing in the Women's 49erFX class with partner Saskia Tidey.

Charlotte spoke about her initial reaction to finding out the Olympics were to be moved to 2021. She said: "When we got told the Olympics would be postponed for a year, honestly I was hugely disappointed. Sas (sailing partner) and I felt like we were ready to put down our best performance as we had just picked up a silver at the World Championships."

"We fully understand they couldn't possibly have run the Olympics; it is one of the moveable events in life that we just have to be resilient to.

"The process of being resilient involved us being honest about how we felt, the Olympic campaign is so consuming in all of your life. I was really worried about how I was going to cope living at this level mentally and physically."

She shared how she maintains a healthy body and mind while in lockdown, as she continues to train and prepare for Tokyo 2021.

"I spoke to my teammate Sas (who felt similar), our coach Stevie and to our wider team about everything. By acknowledging this fear, we put a few key things in place to make sure we'd be ok."

"One of those is increased physical gym work, it keeps our minds and bodies busy in lockdown. I wouldn't usually do five gym sessions in a day, instead I would do two and swap in the extra sessions with sailing practice. What it really is achieving is mental and physical preparation for when we are able to get back to the water and into a routine again."

"At the moment we are trying to replicate a regatta week or what a boat handling training week would be like with various sessions similar to different race day scenarios."

Taking a video of the sea in front of her home Charlotte expressed her excitement at getting back to her "playground" after lockdown.

Charlotte is a 'Sailing Ambassador' at the school along with fellow sailing champions and Lomond ex-pupils, Anna Burnet and Lorenzo Chiavarini.

Having first set sail on Loch Lomond, Charlotte hopes to encourage aspiring athletes to maintain fitness and a healthy life during lockdown.

Sailing is embedded within the curriculum at Lomond School as part of a focus on adventure, taught on its own fleet of dinghies and in partnership with RNCYC.

Johanna Urquhart, principal at Lomond School, said: "It's great to hear from former pupils and the children really love hearing from the likes of Charlotte who has gone on to do amazing things.

"Many of our pupils are keen on pursuing their own athletic career so it's really inspiring for them to hear first-hand what it takes, giving them a boost to keep working hard during lockdown."

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