Olympics: Hege Riise aiming to avoid emotional rollercoaster with GB players

Hege Riise has urged Team GB to forget their emotions if they want to clinch Olympic gold.

GB women's head coach, Hege Riise Picture: Mike Egerton/PA

Riise’s squad start their campaign against Chile in Group E in Sapporo today – two days before the opening ceremony in Tokyo.

Riise won gold with Norway at the Sydney Games in 2000 after losing the opening match 2-0 to the United States, before going on to beat them 3-2 in the final.

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It gives the former midfielder important perspective, which she believes will be key in Japan.

GB head coach Hege Riise has urged Team GB to forget their emotions if they want to clinch Olympic gold. Picture: Barrington Coombs/PA

“It will be an emotional rollercoaster and how we deal with that individually and as a team will be crucial,” said Team GB’s coach.

“You need to have confidence that you are well prepared but also know not every game will be a great game, you might win on a day which isn’t great.

“You must overcome the feelings of not performing and being at your best but still win.

“The emotions of being in an Olympics are quite big and the games come so quickly so you don’t have the time to be too overwhelmed or happy. You just need to get going.”

The GB team have had just one game, a 3-0 win against New Zealand in Kawasaki last week, but Riise played down their lack of time together.

“Of course we don’t have the 10 games leading up but we have to focus on what we actually can do and I feel we are in the same positive thinking,” she added. “We want to have a good start and then we will see.”

GB face Chile in Sapporo, northern Japan, before playing the hosts on Saturday and then travel to Kashima to take on Canada on July 27.

“We are happy to start in Sapporo so that was a good situation for us,” added Riise.

“We have prepared for Chile just as much as we have for Japan and Canada. They are hard to beat, they have drawn against Germany and it’s not an easy game.

“We want to have a good start and then we will see, it’s hard to plan for anything other than this game. We want to win.”