Goldie Sayers, 30, three-time Olympian from Newmarket, gave an inspirational talk to pupils in Year 9-11 at the Royal Hospital School, on Thursday 25 September.
Goldie was educated at Kings Ely and graduated with a degree in Sports Science from Loughborough. Initially, she was just a ball games player although she was introduced to the javelin by her PE teacher at school, who gave her a javelin and told her to practice. Goldie spent hours over the summer holidays throwing the javelin in her back garden!
In her first-ever competition, Goldie threw an impressive 31 meters and her potential was spotted. She completed four weeks of intense training and her throw improved a further 10 meters. At the age of just 13, she went on to win the England Schools’ Cup.
Some years later, Goldie competed in the 2004 Athens Olympics and during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she threw a national record of 65.75 meters and finished 4th overall, missing out on a medal by only 38cm.
After a change of coach in the run up to this year’s Olympics, Goldie trained with world-class athletes including Gold Medallists Greg Rutherford and Johnnie Peacock. She trained for 5-6 hours each day, 6 days a week, for 49 weeks, totalling an astonishing 7,000 hours.
Goldie spoke about her rise to the top and told RHS pupils that, “you have to enjoy what you do and be committed to this amount of training.” But the road was not easy – Goldie damaged her knee severely during training which resulted in immediate surgery. She worked tirelessly in rehab and spent much of 2012 in America to escape the hype and to concentrate on preparing for London 2012.
Three weeks before the games, Goldie threw an outstanding 66.17 meters to a home crowd at Crystal palace, breaking the GB record and beating a former medalist, but in the 4th round she felt a pain in her forearm and an immediate MRI scan revealed a partially torn elbow ligament. Once again, Goldie had to quickly focus on rehab and healing in time to compete in the games.
The hard work and focus paid off; Goldie qualified and got to the London 2012 Olympic games – she even shared a room with Gold Medallist Jessica Ennis. Goldie also revealed that she knew Usain Bolt, and, to much jealously from the Year 11 girls, she was friends with Tom Daley. She also gave an interesting insight into life in the Olympic village, and the hard work required to be a top athlete.
Goldie said, “It was such a privilege to be there and to witness fellow Team GB teammates doing so well. I think one of the most unbelievable moments for me was hearing 80,000 people screaming my name during my first throw of the games.”
Sadly, Goldie’s elbow ligament snapped during this first throw but, never giving up, she showed her unbelievable determination by completing her last two throws. Unfortunately her distances were not enough to qualify ending her London 2012 Olympic games prematurely.
Goldie’s talk was an inspiration to the pupils, with powerful messages about overcoming life’s challenges:
- Success is a decision, not a gift
- Hard-work is needed in order to be successful
- Surround yourself with people who support and motivate you
- Try as many things as you can
- As long as you enjoy, you can achieve
- A good attitude makes a massive difference.
The School thank Goldie Sayers for taking the time to visit and wish her every success in the future. The next Middle school Society talk is on the 21st November by explorer Fran Sandham.
The Royal Hospital School is a coeducational boarding and day school for 11 to 18 years olds set in 200 acres of Suffolk countryside overlooking the River Stour. http://www.royalhospitalschool.org