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Travel vs training: Olympians’ favourite destinations

We’ve been waiting a while, but the Olympics are finally here, and the Paralympics are just around the corner. High Life catches up with members of Team GB and ParalympicsGB about their favourite destinations for work and for play

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Collages by: Nazario Graziano


01/08/2021

Who: Amy Truesdale
Discipline: Para taekwondo

Where is your favourite place to train in the UK?
The National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester. A standard week would be training Monday to Friday, two sessions per day, which consists of kicking sessions as well as strength and conditioning sessions.

What’s been your favourite trip to date?
I love going to South Korea – it reminds me of taekwondo because that’s where it originates from. Plus, the food is amazing. I’ve been about four times. The last time was two or three years ago and that was with my coach and teammates for a training camp.

Where do you want to go next?
So many places. Auschwitz, Santorini (above), Dublin for a long weekend, the Maldives or Barbados for a chill couple of weeks. There’s not really anywhere I wouldn’t go to be honest!



Who: Emily Campbell
Discipline: Weightlifting (2021 Olympic silver medallist)

Where’s your favourite place in the UK to train?
In my home gym, Atlas Workout Warehouse, in Alfreton, Derbyshire, where I’ve been training for four years. It’s not very glamorous but it’s perfect for me. It’s one of the best weightlifting gyms in the country and has all the equipment a weightlifter could ask for. There’s a great community of gym-goers as well as other weightlifters across various levels of experience.

What’s been your favourite leisure trip?
My favourite holiday was when I went to Brazil as a child – I was about 11, I think – and the culture, food and weather were amazing. I remember going on a sand buggy tour and swimming in a blue water lagoon. The water was so clear. I’ve not been back since, but would love to in the future.

Where would you like to go next?
I’d love to go to Bali (above) – it looks amazing. The beautiful beaches, the culture of the island and the amazing looking food there make it so tempting. I would go for at least two weeks with my best friend and explore as much of the island as possible.

Who: Charlotte Worthington
Discipline: BMX freestyle (2021 Olympic gold medallist)

Where is your favourite place to train in the UK?
Adrenaline Alley in Corby in the East Midlands. Pre-Covid, we’d train four or five times a week with public sessions, but once restrictions lifted we had private sessions four days a week. As the UK has opened up we’ve travelled to Derby for access to the foam pits to practise our tricks as well.

What’s been your favourite trip to date?
I’ve had some of my best times in America at State College in Pennsylvania (pictured) – and at Woodward, the facility that we train at, which is well known in the US as a summer camp. If you love riding your bike, skateboarding or cheerleading, it’s a wonderful place to go because it makes you feel like a kid again. American summer camps are a great way to do something you’re passionate about as a hobby.

Italy is also great. We had a really small contest in Roccavignale (in the province of Savona) and I went on my own. I had some mates there, so it was a super casual trip. There were these gorgeous mountains, and we were 40 minutes from the coast, which made competing a breeze.

Where do you want to go next?
Back to America. I spent three months in the US, mainly on the East Coast in Pennsylvania, staying with my coach Jamie Bestwick and his family for most of the time. It was an intense training period at State College and at Woodward.



Who: Elliot Stewart
Discipline: Paralympic Judo

Where’s your favourite place in the UK to train?
The British Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall at Wolverhampton University. We do two to three hours of judo on the mat, some technical work and randori [sparring], then an hour and half in the gym of strength and conditioning.

What’s been your favourite leisure trip?
Japan. We went to the able-bodied World Championships in 2019 to get a feel for where we’re fighting at the Games as it was in the same venue. There was no pressure as we did some training but there was no competition, so we had time to see places and soak up the environment. I’ve been to Japan five times now and I’ve seen the sumo. We actually had a go with one of the sumo clubs who invited us to join in – I looked tiny next to them!

Where would you like to go next?
I would love to go to the Maldives (above) because I’ve never been for leisure. Also, my family is from Jamaica and I’ve never been so I’d love to go there, too.

Who: Naomi Ogbeta
Discipline: Triple jump

Where is your favourite place to train in the UK?
I normally train at Longford Park Stadium in Manchester, which is a really nice outdoor track with lots of trees around it. But that wasn’t an elite training centre, so I’ve been training throughout most of the lockdown indoors at Sportcity.

What’s been your favourite leisure trip?
A trip to Italy. I went to Milan and Lake Como. We have an off season every year, normally in September, so we always try and plan a trip then. I went with my boyfriend and stopped off in different places. It was nice to have such a variety of food because athletes are often on a diet so it was lovely to enjoy Italian dishes and look at beautiful views.

Where do you want to go next?
I want to go to Jamaica (above) because my family have some relatives there – I love to visit them and just lie on the beaches, eat jerk chicken, drink lovely drinks and relax. I’ve mainly been to Europe, especially with my competitions, so I’d love to explore even further than that.