Olivia Breen on rehab and preparing for World Championships in Dubai
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 04/05/19 10:38am
Winning medals, battling injuries and fighting back to fitness. Olivia Breen is finally ready for a hectic summer.
The 22-year-old former Sky Sports Scholar opens up on her struggles on and off the track and her ambitions with a crucial 12 months ahead of her.
It's been a challenging year but hopefully I'm back on track and I cannot wait to get stuck into the outdoor season with some big events coming up.
I was injured for most of last year and wasn't able to fully train. Just before last year's Commonwealth Games, I developed tendinitis in my right knee which we nursed through that competition and I was delighted to win a long jump gold and 100m bronze.
When I came back from Australia, I went into a semi-rehabilitation phase as I still wanted to compete in the European Championships in the 100m.
I am really glad I did this as I won bronze but it meant that most of the winter was then devoted to intense rehab so I didn't compete in any indoors competitions.
It has been a really long and frustrating process but with the help of the British medical staff and strength and conditioning teams,I am now back to full fitness and raring to go for the summer campaign.
I had a great couple of weeks in Tenerife winter training with my group and a lot of the British team. It is always so good to get away in the winter months.
It is so much easier to train in warm weather and it's great to get away from distractions and just focus on training. For me personally, going to the sunshine in the winter is great as my muscles tend to stiffen up more due to my cerebral palsy.
Tenerife is an amazing place to go because it is quite a short flight so there is no jet lag and everything is so easy and accessible there. My group is planning to go there again in May just before we all start our seasons which I think will be really beneficial.
A few weeks ago - on International Women's day - I became an ambassador for the charity Leonard Cheshire which I am really excited about. It's a pan-disability charity which supports disabled people to become as independent as they choose.
This is something very close to my heart as being independent is something which is really important to me in spite of my disabilities. I am really looking forward to working with the charity and meeting the people it supports.
March was a busy and social month for me with a trip to Berlin one weekend, followed by a trip to Edinburgh. Both cities are amazing and it was great to visit them without competing but just to enjoy them.
I also came back into the Sky Sports studios to see everyone and show my medals. My Scholarship ended in May 2017 so it is quite a long time since I was last at Sky and being there made me realise how much I miss it.
Everyone is always so positive and supportive and it was great to experience that again. I was also able to go on Sky Sports News which is always exciting and show off my medals.
I am now really excited about the summer season.
It's going to be quite long as it ends with the IPC World Championships in Dubai in November so we need to carefully manage things and make sure I stay fit and healthy.