The coach of Sheffield-based Olympic trampolinist Bryony Page has revealed that she won her silver medal, despite needing an operation on her ankle.
Paul Greaves, who has been coaching Bryony Page for around seven years, said the Sheffield University graduate has an impinged ankle - a condition which occurs when either soft or bony tissues are compressed within the ankle joint.
“It’s not a major thing, it’s like wear and tear on the body. She hasn’t been able to have it because of the games, but she’s been having anti-inflamatory injections to deal with it.
“She’s been working with it for quite a while, it’s like someone nipping you, but if you can imagine having that every time you land it can get quite painful.”
Bryony took the silver medal in trampoline at the Rio Olympics yesterday evening. She was in tears after a brilliant routine which earned a superb score of 56.040 from the judges.
The size of her achievement cannot be understated given Britain had previously never won a medal on the trampoline at Olympic or world level.
Bryony Page could not hold back the tears after claiming Olympic silver And she could hardly believe it herself.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” she said afterwards. “I can’t believe it. I’m just so happy. I just can’t believe I’ve won an Olympic medal. I had no idea it was a medal routine but I knew it was the best I could have done.
“I just wanted to go out there and smash it and I did that and I’m just so happy the hard work and training has paid off.”
Paul, who has been working with Bryony at the Sheffield Trampoline Academy, agreed that it was the best that Bryony had performed.
“When she had finished her final routine I was so proud, I knew she had given all she could and at that point it didn’t matter to me whether she came first or eight.
“It was so close at the end, it was quite hard to watch, but as soon as I realised she’d won a medal I broke down. It was fantastic. As a coach, I have been with her through all the highs and the lows and we are well connected so I knew exactly how she would be feeling in that moment. I think everybody who was watching on TV knew how she was feeling from her reaction.
“It was absolutely amazing. I had to wait around at the Olympic park for ages afterwards to see her because so many people wanted to talk to her, but then all of a sudden I heard this big scream and she jumped on me like a koala bear. She just kept saying how happy she was and that she couldn’t believe it.
“We were doing press interviews until 1am and she didn’t take the medal off once, she kept commenting on how heavy it was. She said she wanted to sleep with it, but she was worried she would roll over and knock herself out - that’s just the kind of funny thing she usually says.”
Bryony has been a member of the Sheffield Trampoline Academy national team since 2009 and competed in the last five world championships.
To prepare for Rio, she had been training six days a week, sometimes twice a day, with Paul at Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Beulah Road.
“As soon as she came to the academy and started training with me I could tell she had a talent, she was outstanding from day one.
“There are lots of people who have talent, but to be able to achieve what Bryony has you need the whole package, and that includes, drive, determination and commitment. Bryony has always had the whole package, even though there are times it’s been difficult.
“I’m on cloud nine, I still can’t believe it. It’s an amazing achievement for sport and for Bryony.”
Paul added that he would like to thank Bryony’s parents, who raised £3,500 using an online funding page to enable him to travel to Rio.