When Denmark's Rikke Linck came to stay
Aimee with Rikke at the Olympic Parrk
Rikke with Wayne Otto OBE in Sheffield
The writing is on the wall...
Wow, what a week with Denmark’s Rikke Linck who came over to England and spent the week with me training. It was a full-on, action-packed week which kicked off soon after we picked her up from Gatwick Airport on the Wednesday.
Rikke had a few hours to settle in at my house before our first training session at my club. Rikke mixed well with the other club members working hard throughout the 2 hour evening training session and experienced the pain of the Shiko-Dachi stretch! The next day, Thursday, we had an early morning training session together in my dojo before some essential retail therapy in Romford Town shopping centre. There I had the opportunity to show Rikke where I ran with the Olympic torch just days earlier. After our lunch we headed back in readiness for the next session, an early evening 2 hour training session with Jonathan Mottram. A hard session where we worked on many technical aspects of Kata.
Friday and a later start for us both as we packed for Sheffield. We
travelled up to Sheffield early afternoon arriving in plenty of time for
dinner. After checking in to the hotel, we went to our room, Rikke and me
sharing a twin with my parents next door, unpacked and got ready for the
evening. A short walk to the Italian restaurant and a nice meal before
returning to the hotel to watch the opening ceremony of the London 2012
Olympics. What a spectacle, what a show, what a late night!
Saturday was competition day as Rikke and I took to the mats to compete in the Kata events at the 2012 Celebration Games Karate Championships. We both came away with a gold and bronze apiece so a good result for both of us. We stayed to watch the rest of the squad before leaving early evening heading back down to London.
Sunday we decided to go to Westfield’s shopping centre in Stratford, the biggest shopping centre in Europe. Westfield's is massive and Rikke was very impressed as we attempted to clear out the shops ;-) We returned home after nearly getting on the wrong train, and after a few hours had a traditional Sunday lunch. Rikke had never had Yorkshire Pudding before so it was funny explaining it's origin.
Monday, what a day, Olympics day for us as we made a early start and headed off back to Stratford, this time to go to the Olympics. The Olympic Park was vast and the Olympic buildings impressive. We had lunch in Europe's largest McDonalds followed by a visit to the Olympic sized shop. After walking past many of the venues we arrived at our destination, the basketball arena to watch two matches, France v Australia followed by Russia v Brazil. The games were enthralling and the experience and atmosphere just amazing. We really got involved with the crowd joining in the fun and celebrations. Such an inspirational experience.
A slight rest on Tuesday before another exclusive training session just for Rikke with Coach Jonathan Mottram. I sat in whilst Rikke did all the work - ha. That was followed by attending the Tuesday Barking Abbey Ishinryu club session for a couple of hours before retuning home late evening. Another long but good day.
No rest on Wednesday as we had an early morning training session together in my dojo to go over and practice what Rikke had been shown previously. Wednesday and Rikke had already been here a whole week, wow, where did all the time go? The evening it was back at Barking Abbey training in what was Rikke's last training session of her visit. Everyone wished Rikke well as she said her goodbyes to the many new friends she made.
Thursday and home time for Rikke. I had to work in the morning leaving Rikke asleep but was home at 11:00 to help her get ready for her journey home. After packing we left for the airport around 2:30pm, a leisurely drive to Gatwick Airport arriving in plenty of time. We had a late lunch at the airport watching Team GB gain another three medals while we were there - a 1-2 in the Canoe Slalom and gold in the Shooting which really put everyone spirits into overdrive. Soon it was time to say farewell to Rikke as we waved her off through the departure gates.
It was a real pleasure having Rikke over and training with her. She has
so much potential, passion and drive I hope she returned home buoyed by her
experiences over here.