Nathan Twaddle is blogging on the Team New Zealand website. He writes about the last training before the regatta and his Coach giving out praise.
It was pretty cold over the last month of training in New Zealand – especially with the frosts. I was wearing three layers on the bottom and four layers on top – some mornings on Lake Karapiro I even had these mini gloves on. When you do that you are normally mocked incessantly but it was that cold that I didn't care about the jibes.So it has been quite a contrast with the intense heat and humidity here in China.
Our first race went pretty well on Saturday though in context there were some interesting results from the other heats as well. It looks like it is going to be super close all the way and will go right down to the wire.
The other day I was watching the Olympic semi-final in Athens from four years ago. It is interesting to see and remember what it felt like to be there and how different as a crew we are from that time.
I'm hoping that in the semi-final this time we will be one of the crews dictating terms to everyone else, rather than trying to respond as we were four years ago.
As a crew, George and I are much more experienced and the expectation has really changed. We have a lot of confidence from the races over the last four years and hopefully will be one of the crews to fear.
In our final block of training back in New Zealand we added some pretty intense pieces into the programme to try and get maximum speed gain. It was good to battle against all the other crews – Georgina and Caroline, the women's pairs, the lightweight double and Mahe Drysdale. Everyone is pretty competitive!
No one seems too nervous though so close to the Games. I think that is the nature of rowing – rowers are pretty good at going week to week and I think that is the nature of the intensity of the training that we do. Plus we have some very experienced people in our programme.
Our coach Richard Tonks doesn't say a lot but when he does give you positive feedback you know he means it – he doesn't give praise out lightly.
He has a lot of knowledge and belief in his tried and true methods and as a result his athletes have a lot of faith too. We trust that if he asks us to go out and do ten 500m pieces there must be a reason behind it and we give it 110%.His record speaks for itself really.
We have had a couple of days to soak in the atmosphere and the enormity of the Olympics and all that it entails and now it is down to business.
Last time at the Olympic village there was a 'hundred club' in the dining hall. Some of the weightlifters and the bigger men were trying to see if they could eat 100 chicken nuggets in 100 minutes. I didn't see anyone achieve it though! Not sure what we will see this time!
I think the McDonalds and other temptations in the dining hall will have to wait for after the competition though.