Bryony Page has admitted she struggled to come to terms with the relative fame that followed her surprise trampoline silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The 30-year-old, who describes herself as “quite an introverted person”, suddenly found herself being recognised in public and saddled with the increased expectation that comes with having a major medal hung around your neck.
Page, who has subsequently established herself amongst the world’s elite and will be looking to go one better in Tokyo later this month, said: “Things changed little perspective-wise.
“I had always been worried that I would never achieve my potential, and being able to do that in Rio took a weight off my shoulders, and meant that I was able to train with slightly more freedom.
“Most of my life hasn’t changed that much, except that when I go to a competition more people know me and my story. At first it was a little bit daunting, and having someone come up to me wanting to talk still feels a little bit strange.”
Page, who studied paleontology at university and wowed media in Rio by revealing the secrets of her dinosaur lunchbox, was unable to immediately capitalise on her Rio success, undergoing ankle surgery which knocked some of the confidence she had gained at the Games.
But heading to the Tokyo Page, who became Britain’s first Olympic trampoline medallist in Brazil, believes she has been a significant beneficiary of the one-year delay, enabling her to rediscover her fitness and confidence levels.
Page added: “Coming out of Rio I felt like I could deal with anything and I really believed in myself, but then going straight into injury rehab left me doubting whether I was going to be able to get back to the standard I was at.
“Once I managed to do that I got the motivation to push past that glass ceiling and become even better than I was before. The extra year has definitely helped and I am already looking to keep training after these Olympics with some really big ideas.”