Sky Scholar and Paralympian Olivia Breen on preparing for new season in windy Florida
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 05/05/17 7:59am
It's been a magical start to the outdoor season for Olivia Breen.
When you read a tweet from your governing body starting with "BOOM" and ends with "Way to jump into 2017", you know you've done something OK.
The two-time Paralympian has returned from a lively training camp, which also included breaking the British T38 long jump record (4.46m) with only a blustery Florida denying her extending that mark by a whopping 42cm.
After a frustrating Paralympics in Rio, it all looks rosy for the 20-year-old from Guildford.
The Sky Academy Sports Scholar reveals her joy and battles with the wind in America....
I've just come back from an amazing three weeks of training in Clermont, Florida with British Athletics. It was a brilliant camp and I feel as though all of my winter training has come together.
There were 10 of us sharing a house and it was such a supportive and fun environment. I couldn't be more grateful to my coach Aston Moore and the rest of the house for making it such a successful and positive time.
As I've said before, my cerebral palsy really benefits from the sun and I definitely can feel the benefit of the warm weather. I feel in really good shape. The training facilities in Clermont were excellent and it was so good to totally focus on my training without any distractions.
I was quite upset recently after finding out that all 4 x 100m races have been removed from the IPC Paralympic Games as an event. The relay has always been special to me having won my Paralympic medal at London 2012 so the decision made me very sad.
The relay is the most exciting event for the athlete and spectators and I think it's a big loss to the sport. My funding is also for the relay so I am waiting to find out how this will be affected.
On to my first competition of the season...it was the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational in Florida. I was really nervous in the build-up which is quite unusual for me.
My jumping in training went really well but it's always different in competition and I wanted to do well so badly.
There were a lot of competitors in the event so there was a lot of time to wait before jumping. My first effort was 4.46m which was great and a really good PB for me.
I knew I could jump further and I was so excited when my second jump was 4.88 which was a huge best. I then found out it was a +3.6 wind which unfortunately made it illegal.
I was still really happy though knowing I can jump that far and seeing the result of all my hard work paying off.
There were four jumps in total. Unfortunately, on my third jump (which was also long), my foot was over the board and then the wind was illegal on my final jump.
I was delighted with my performance in the long jump. Jumping accurately off the board three out of four times was a really big deal and to jump a huge best (albeit a windy one) has given me a great boost going into the season.
I also competed in the 100m in Clermont and ran a PB of 13.29 seconds but sadly this was also wind-assisted so didn't count.
I was still really happy with my race though and I'm really looking forward to competing again, hopefully in calmer conditions!
It was a fantastic camp and I'm now looking forward to starting my competition season in the UK which gets going on May 7 at Newham.