Dina Asher-Smith, captain of the GB Athletics Team, about her passion for the Olympics


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  • The 25-year-old is one of the leading medal contenders in both the 100m and 200m, having taken silver and gold respectively at the most recent World Championships in 2019.
    But Olympic glory is the driver for Asher-Smith, and she revealed how coming to a Games was something she developed a passion for during her childhood.

  • The Londoner was named as captain of the athletics team for Team GB in Tokyo, but she says that the personal pride plays second fiddle to the pride the whole team feel for being in Japan, particularly given the tricky circumstances of the last 18 months and the coronavirus pandemic.
    “I’m truly honoured to lead our athletics team to this Tokyo Olympics, it’s a moment of personal pride for me, I did not ever envisage being a captain,” Asher-Smith said.
    “But I know that it’s also a moment of pride for the whole team [being here] because this has been a very weird 18 months for all of us, not just athletes but also the general public.
    “So not only do I want to go and make sure the team put their best foot forward, but also that we have fun.
    “Obviously you wear your mask and follow all the rules, but the Olympic athletes must be amongst the most tested people in the world right now. If there’s any population of people who are more tested than us right now I’d be surprised.”

“I think I’ve wanted to be an Olympian since I was eight years old,” she said.
“I remember watching the Athens Olympics in 2004 and I remember that it was this idea that every four years people that were really good at something could get together and see who was the best. I’ve always been uber-competitive and I just saw it and thought ‘I really love that’.
I DID NOT KNOW WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO, DID NOT KNOW THAT I COULD RUN FAST AT THAT POINT, DID NOT KNOW THAT I WAS GOING TO BE A SPRINTER, BUT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES AND I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN OLYMPIAN.

Asher-Smith has also warned Olympics organisers they would be “shooting themselves in the foot” for punishing any athlete if they take the knee on the podium.
The IOC had relaxed competition rules to allow Team GB women footballers to make the gesture against racism before their game against Chile in Tokyo.
However, it said medal winners would face disciplinary action if they took the knee on the podium.
Asher-Smith, 25, believes that any ban would be “unenforceable”.
The world 200 metres champion said: “When it comes to people’s voices there’s very little you can control.

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