Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo admits a Team GB training camp in France over the past week has helped him refocus is Olympic dream.
News that his mother had been taken ill last month cast a cloud over Ogogo’s preparations for the Games, but the 23-year-old has been told by his family he must turn all his thoughts on bringing home gold.
Ogogo admitted to contemplating pulling out of the Games upon hearing the news of his mother, but the training camp in Bugeat has helped him re-establish his hunger for the sport.
Writing in his blog, Ogogo said: “I’ve had personal stuff going on at home so it was particularly hard for me to leave the country and try to focus, but I think I did a good job. My family know the importance of the Olympics to me and have urged and encouraged me to follow my dream.
“It was made easier for me joining the squad when there is a fantastic atmosphere amongst the camp. The training is hard, but the banter as always has been top notch.”
Ogogo has become used to hurdles being placed in the way of his Olympic dream. A shoulder operation last October threatened his participation in London, but a heroic rehabilitation effort saw him ready in time to gain one of the last qualification berths in Turkey three months ago.
Ogogo admitted he is getting used to coping with setbacks in his fledgling career, but hopes the way he deals with them can define him as a boxer.
“I can’t enjoy this period as much as I thought I would,” he conceded. “It’s not what I imagined it to be, but that’s life, always throwing obstacles in the way. It’s about how you overcome these obstacles and still get there and achieve greatness, whatever that greatness may be.
“But this is a special time. The lead-up to the Olympic Games. For many athletes, and particularly boxers, you’re so lucky if this happens just once in your career. But a home Games – it will only happen once in my sporting career I’m sure of that and on orders of my family I am trying to enjoy it as much as I feasibly can.”
Ogogo is pleased with his preparations and has been able to test himself against boxers from all over the world in Bugeat, pitting his wits against potential competitors of differing styles, which he believes this will stand him in good stead.
“Personally I feel like I’ve definitely benefited from the camp,” he added. “I had the pleasure of a couple of competitive spars with tricky, flamboyant south American southpaws to tough, rugged, physical and technically sound Europeans and Africans.”