Jocelyn Hunt has revealed she is even more motivated to compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016 after seeing the efforts of her team-mates at the London Games.
The 17-year-old gymnast from Stubbington was on stand-by to make the team after narrowly missing out on selection for Team GB.
But while others would have walked away from the sport at the disappointment, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist remains focused on her eventual goal of making the Olympics in Brazil in four years’ time.
She explained: ‘It was a bit difficult watching it and knowing I had been close but I was still happy for the girls.
‘Now it’s given me that extra bit of motivation to make sure I am in Rio.
‘That is my main goal but it’s four years away, so I have to concentrate on getting my skills up in my routines at the moment. It can seem a bit daunting if you set your sights too far ahead.’
With Louis Smith and Max Whitlock taking silver and bronze in the men’s pommel horse, Beth Tweddle grabbing bronze in the women’s uneven bars and the men claiming a team bronze, it was an Olympic performance that far exceeded expectations.
Hunt said: ‘It has inspired a lot of people to believe that we can compete with the best in the world. It certainly surprised a few people.
‘It was a bit of everything. It was the home advantage and the support and the hard work by a lot of gymnasts.
‘People saw the Olympics but they didn’t see the years of hard work that went into it.’
And while the former Crofton School student admits she had to do some soul-searching on whether she could gear herself up for another four-year cycle, her coach Sadie Makinson played a significant role.
Hunt said: ‘My coach Sadie has given me a lot of encouragement. I wasn’t sure I could go for another four years as you have to make a lot of sacrifices.
‘But I realised I loved it too much and I couldn’t really imagine not going into the gym and training every day.
‘So I’m looking to improve my level of difficulty to increase my final score. I just need to push myself more now.’
The talented teenager is also looking for sponsorship for training and competitions. To get in contact, visit jocelyn huntofficial.co.uk