ONE month after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Bryony Page has a spring in her step.
The Sheffield-based star initially thought she’d never even make an Olympic Games.
Indeed, even now the 25-year-old has her long-term future mapped out, with the Crewe-born star hoping to eventually hit the heights with the Cirque Du Soleil.
Those plans, though, remain firmly on hold, with a trampolining silver medal in Rio now fuelling dreams of a Tokyo 2020 gold.
Former University of Sheffield student Page was one of the surprise success stories of this summer’s Olympics in the women’s trampoline event.
The discipline is not exactly famed for Team GB success and prior to Rio no British athlete had even ever qualified for a final. That all changed in South America when both Page and Kat Driscoll qualified in the top eight, with Page then elevating her qualifying position of seventh to memorably bag a silver medal.
The success was particularly sweet for the ATFC Sheffield star who had hoped to compete at London 2012 but missed the qualifiers through illness and injury. Nevertheless, an Olympic silver was beyond Page’s expectations.
Now brimming with a new-found confidence, the trampolining star sees no reason why she cannot now go one better in four years’ time, with future circus ambitions on the back-burner until another day.
Page announced her undoubted potential when fourth in the World Championships of 2010 but admitted: “I think in 2010 when I first joined the university and the club I didn’t really think even that maybe the Olympics were a possibility.
“Then in 2010 at the World Championships I finished fourth which was a really unexpected result because it was my first World Championships. I think from that point, that’s when I gained a little bit of confidence in myself that maybe I could make it to the Olympic Games.
“Then I went through the disappointment of not making it to London and so I then had four years of working to my absolute best so that it wouldn’t happen again and I could make it on to the Olympic team.
“I didn’t just make it to the Olympics, I made to the finals with Kat Driscoll and we both made history by being the first British girls to make an Olympic final. I just did the best routine of my life and got a medal. It’s made it very special, knowing that all of the hard work has made every second worth it and to come back with a silver medal is so unreal.
“I’m absolutely over the moon and I’m really looking forward to the next four years of training. I can go in there and see where my own boundaries are and push to upgrade my routines and give it that confidence I have had from the Olympics.
“To know that I can compete with the best in the world and be of medal potential is just going to boost me so much to just do what I have been doing – training so hard and enjoying every second of it for the next four years.”
That training is also about to get even better with the opening of Sheffield’s new Graves Health and Sports Centre which will allow permanent space for trampolines.
Page hopes it provides the platform for Tokyo gold.
“Trampolining is a moving sport and there are so many juniors coming up,” she said. “And anything can happen in an Olympic Games and you can see that with our favourite finishing with the bronze medal.
“She was the reining world champion eight months ago and she has gone from first to third. Anything can happen but I am definitely going to try and be on that podium again. If I can do it here and I have got more in me and I want to keep pushing it then you never know!”
On the contrary, Page already knows her ideas as regards a future profession, but Cirque De Soliel it seems will have to wait until at least 2020, if not 2024.
Page reasoned: “I know a lot of people that have transitioned from competitive sport into performance and circus and I like the performing side of things and all the costumes and make up and dance and stuff.
“Maybe I will do a little bit of Cirque De Soleil for a bit. That’s something that I want to do but I have got at least another four years and I want to go for as long as I can. I might be that old lady with a walking stick getting off the trampoline and I want to jump for as long as I can.”