With 365 days remaining until the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Visually Impaired Judo World Champion and World Games winner Ben Quilter explains what the countdown to the Games means to him.
There is now just one year to go until the most talked about sporting event of my life and I’m hoping for the fairy tale ending to the most successful two years of my career to date.
Having won two World titles in 2010 and 2011, I’ve been on form and am hoping to complete my medal collection; firstly with a European Gold in November and then, to top it off, with another gold at the ExCeL centre in one year’s time.
For me, the Paralympics is what I dream about winning, and with the support and guidance from everyone at the British Judo Performance Institute (BJPI), a lot of hard work and dedication from me, as well as the home crowd support, I believe this is possible.
I’m determined to enjoy the whole experience – not only on the day, but all of the next 12 months of preparation and build up.
I think the atmosphere is going to be electric and I’m excited at the prospect of competing in front of a home crowd. I’m sure there’s going to be a huge amount of pressure and nerves but I will have prepared the best I can and will be aiming to perform better than I ever have before.
We’re a year and one day away from when I step on the mat aiming to win my first Paralympic medal so the real countdown has started!
Right now I feel like this day is a long way off but it’s very much on the horizon and I’m confident that I will be ready. I’ll be taking it one day at a time over the next year and I’m sure the big day will be here before I know it.
For now though, I’m going to try and cocoon myself from all the hype and expectation and focus on the task at hand. There will be plenty of time to reflect afterwards.
Find out more about judo from the British Judo Association and find out more about Paralympic sport from Paralympics GB.