06:00PM, Monday 15 November 2021
Canoe slalom star Mallory Franklin admits she’s still not had time to dwell on her scintillating Olympic silver.
The 27-year-old from Windsor came second in the women’s C1 canoe slalom at her debut games in Tokyo and headed straight back into training with the World Championships following shortly after.
Franklin has also got back in the kayak – after focussing solely on the canoe for two years in the run-up to the Olympics – and emulated her Tokyo silver with the same colour medal at a World Cup event in Catalonia.
And Franklin, one of over 1,000 athletes who are able to train full-time, access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support thanks to vital National Lottery funding, said: “I haven't had as much downtime as you might think, I've been back racing a bit and had selection for kayak as well, so it's been a little bit of a whirlwind since Tokyo.
“But I think looking back on it, it just feels almost so surreal, it was such an odd experience, in terms of the restrictions and how the environment was then coming back into Britain and it being so free.
“It kind of felt like you were in a whole different world, which is really crazy. I don't think I've really properly reflected on the whole thing.
“It was very much like I got back and then had loads of media stuff and had selection, and then off to more races.
“I think after I've reached the end of the season then there will be a bit of time I can deflate a little bit and just think about it more.”
Franklin was pleased with her subdued return to Britain after Tokyo, only being met by her fiancé at the airport.
But teammate Kimberley Woods had other plans.
“At the actual airport, my fiancé came and picked us up, which is quite cute, me and my coach flew back together, so my fiancé came and got us,” she added.
“It was nice to have a bit of time with him and I'm not really someone that massively enjoys big public, things like that, so it was quite nice for it to be quite little.
“It was quite toned down, but then when I got back to Lee Valley, which is my training centre, then one of the other athletes Kimberley Woods had arranged for loads of the locals around there, and some of the other athletes on our podium potential team, to visit.
“They were all there to welcome me back, which is pretty cool and it was nice to have both elements of getting to see the person that I probably care about most in an environment where I was really comfortable.
“But then seeing how much my result and that whole experience meant to other people was also really cool.”
While Franklin is still yet to get over Tokyo, attention elsewhere has already turned to Paris 2024, and after her wedding, she too will focus on the next cycle – including a visit to the course.
“I think once I get basically just through my wedding, that's probably what I need to get through, I think then I will [focus on Paris],” said Franklin, whose silver in Japan was one of the 1,000-plus Olympic and Paralympic medals achieved by British athletes since National Lottery funding to elite sport started in 1997.
“We've got a winter training camp on the cards, and we might stop off in Paris and spend a bit of time on the course there.
“I think if we do that, that's when it will start to get quite real that there's this whole new cycle is beginning.
“I think you need to give yourself a bit of time out from it, but at the same time, it's only three years away and it's definitely something that's in my eyesight.”
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