Name: Sophie Troiano
Place of birth: London
Current hometown: London
First senior international major event: June 2006
Best international result: Last 16 placing at Junior European Championships 2004
Is this your first Olympics?
How did you feel when the BFA contacted you to tell you that you had been selected for the GB Olympic fencing squad? Absolutely ecstatic mixed in with a bit of disbelief – it took a while to sink in that I had been selected for the OLYMPICS!!
Where were you when you were given the news?
In the office on a Friday afternoon – I had to go into a meeting room to gather my emotions after the call!
Who did you tell first?
My Dad was the first person I told.
How do you feel to be representing Great Britain in your home country?
Extremely proud and also privileged – few athletes get the opportunity to represent their country in front of a home crowd at an Olympic games; it truly is a very special thing.
What aspect of being part of the Olympics are you most looking forward to?
The whole thing! I know that’s a bit of a cop-out answer but I am just hugely excited about the entire Olympic experience.
What do you expect the atmosphere to be like?
Electric! On the piste I have no doubt that the cheers of British fans will motivate the team to produce the performance of a lifetime.
What is your goal for the Olympics?
Everyone goes into a competition wanting to win a gold medal – if you don’t then you shouldn’t be competing. But in terms of our performance target for the team event, based on our performance and progress over the past 12 months on the World Class Programme we want to be making the quarter finals at least.
What will it be like staying in the athlete’s village?
I imagine it will be buzzing, but also quite tense earlier on in the fortnight as people are preparing to compete and dealing with nerves and pressure.
Are there any Olympic sports which are known for having particularly rowdy/ partying athletes in the village?
Not that I’ve heard of but as it’s my first Olympics I’m sure I will find out!
How is the team going to be preparing together over the summer?
As a women’s foil team we went to Poland for a training camp in early July before we headed to Loughborough with the rest of TeamGB for the Olympic Holding Camp which is where the whole team makes final preparations prior to travelling to the Olympic village.
What will be your main area of focus in the build up to the Olympics?
Ensuring our bodies are in peak condition (i.e. injury-free and fresh) and building our tactical game-plans against the teams we will face in the competition.
Is your training routine going to change at all? How?
As we get closer to the games our training volume and intensity is being closely managed by our coaching team to ensure that we go into our events fresh.
Is your diet going to change? What will it be?
No, my diet is generally high in protein with a moderate amount of complex carbs in the earlier part of the day and lots of fruit, veg and also dairy products which are rich in calcium.
Do you have a special breakfast on the morning of a competition?
Cereal with skimmed milk, brown bread with jam, orange juice, coffee.
What will be key to your success on the day?
Going into every fight with a set game plan based on our team tactical analysis and staying focused and loose under the pressure that comes with an Olympic Games.
Other than fencing, which sport are you looking forward to seeing most at the Olympics?
I’ll be watching athletics, gymnastics and diving.
What will be the Olympic legacy for fencing?
I think fencing’s Olympic legacy will be two-fold; firstly in terms of reputation and profile as many more people will be exposed to the sport, and secondly if we deliver our set performance targets there should be a positive financial legacy as well.