British athletes have to make the most of being the stars of a home Olympics this summer, according to Sheffield heptathlete Jessica Ennis.
As the London Games draw ever closer, the media spotlight has started to be turned up on those who will be representing Great Britain in London.
The negative consequences have already been seen, with diver Tom Daley having had to defend himself over accusations that he has taken on too many commitments away from the pool.
Ennis, though, herself one of the unofficial faces of the Games owing to her huge popularity with the public, does not see a problem with competitors enjoying their time in the sun, so long as their training still comes first.
Speaking at an event to promote Powerade’s ‘On Your Marks’ competition, which gives winners the chance to run at the Olympic Stadium on May 3, she said: “I think it’s a unique situation this year.
“Having a home Olympics is a great thing to have and as an athlete you have to make the most of these opportunities because they’re once-in-a-lifetime.
“But, at the same time, we are athletes and first and foremost we want to win as many medals as possible and be the best we can be. We need to get that balance, which I think the athletes are getting.
“As long as you’re training and not missing sessions, you can do your sponsorship requirements, but just make sure you’re doing the work first.”
Ennis has been giving tips to potential competition winners on how to look good in the blocks - entrants have to photograph themselves ready to start a race in a bid to win - and she knows a fast start is going to be vital in London.
Over the past seven months she has been dethroned as world champion and world indoor champion, losing her titles to her main rivals Tatyana Chernova and Nataliya Dobrynska.
Poor performances in the javelin and the long jump have proven to be her downfall, but she insists there is no need to overhaul her training programme in a bid to rectify the problems.
“You don’t want to change too many things,” she said.
“You have to work on slightly different things but you don’t want to change your whole training programme. You have to believe that it’s the right thing you’re doing and keep doing it.
“My coach Toni Minichiello always gets input from other coaches as well to further his knowledge and help in any way and that’s something we’ve always done. It’s just about believing in what I’m doing, getting the sessions done, making sure they’re quality and becoming consistent.”