OLYMPIC DIARY: Bravery takes many forms

Olympian: Monique Gladding
Olympian: Monique Gladding
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THERE’S many different forms of bravery in sport.

In football there’s throwing your body in front of the ball to prevent a goal knowing you’re going to get hurt or accepting the ball in a tight situation when you’re surrounded by players.

Both are brave in their own way - one physical, one psychological.

Yesterday I spent my day watching two women who need courage every time they perform.

Whatever your views on women’s boxing you couldn’t deny the sheer joy that Nicola Adams competes with. She’s an entertainer and relishes getting into the ring in a sport that rewards you for inflicting pain.

Knowing that she too is likely to be hit several times is an occupational hazard, but it still requires incredible bravery to fight.

And then there’s 10 metre platform diver Monique Gladding who last night made her long awaited Olympic debut at the age of 31.

Diving from 10m needs a lot of bottle considering the 30 miles per hour speed they hit the water but in Gladding’s case she must fight her own personal demons every time she stands on the platform.

It’s not much more than 18 months ago that she was close to death after hitting her head on the way down at a competition in Russia. To get back up there and try again takes some nerve. To be able to do it at such a level that she qualified for the Great Britain Olympic Games team shows true bravery and spirit.

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