BRYONY Page surprised even herself as she produced the routine of her life to secure an incredible Olympic trampolining silver medal in Rio.
The 25-year-old - based in Sheffield - had never been to the Olympics but had already made history alongside her teammate Kat Driscoll just by qualifying for the individual final from the heats.
No British woman had ever done that before and with Driscoll qualifying fourth and Page sixth – a podium place was now up for grabs.
And it was Page who saved her best for last in the final, laying down a 56.040 routine that stood at the top of the leaderboard as rivals came and went.
Page’s score kept her out front and a medal became a possibility, then a probability and finally a certainty.
Only Canada’s Rosannagh MacLennan could beat her score, while fellow Brit Driscoll had to settle for sixth.
And with her mum Sarah and dad Steve in the crowd – the former Sheffield University student slumped to her knees in shock before regathering herself for the medal ceremony and admitted that she had surpassed even her wildest expectations.
“After my performance I was just so happy because that was the best I could have done on that day, and then finding out I’d got a medal, I couldn’t hold my legs up, I collapsed and I was crying my eyes out,” she said.
“Then when I found out I got the silver I was just so shell-shocked, it’s just absolutely incredible.”
“Wherever I would have finished I would have been happy. In the back of my mind I knew a 56 was strong and it could have pushed for a medal, so I was like, ‘Oh I could do it’, but I also thought, ‘I might finish fourth’. I just couldn’t believe it.
“I said to myself ‘I have to give it all because I’ve got absolutely nothing to lose here. If I want to get a medal, if I want to do my best I’ve got to give it absolutely everything, no holding back, and that’s why I was so emotional when I finished my routine, because I’d hit that, I’d felt what I wanted to feel.”
With a medallist and a finalist – British trampolining has been thrust into the headlines and continued a superb three days in a row for Team GB out in Brazil.
And Page - who paid tribute to her team-mate and best mate Driscoll for her guidance during her maiden Games - hopes this is just the start for the sport.
“Hopefully it means we can get more people involved and increase the profile of the sport. I’m just so excited to see what happens in the next cycle,” she added.
“I think dreaming big is key, how else can you achieve things? Overachieve and dream and I can’t believe I’m living that dream. It’s just amazing.
“I am going to keep this medal around my neck for a very long time.
“I have no celebration plan, this was completely unexpected, I can’t wait to see my parents and my coach, I’ll get them a drink, I won’t be drinking, definitely not, I want to remember this.”
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