Over the years there have been many Old Fettesians and Staff members who have represented their country at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. With the Opening Ceremony for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan just 8 days away we are delighted that two OFs will be representing Team GB. Katherine Douglas (Inv-CW 2000–2007) will be a member of the GB Rowing Team competing in the Women's Eight and Jake Wightman (Gl 2008–2012) will be representing Great Britain on the running track competing in the Men's 1,500m.
We spoke to both Katherine and Jake ahead of travelling to Tokyo:
“It has been a surreal experience because I was selected in March 2020 outside a building as we weren’t allowed in. We received the news, were given a rowing machine each and told to go home and await further updates. Later in 2020 when the Olympics were postponed we were told our selection status would not be valid and we’d have to be reselected for the rescheduled games. I was selected again in 2021 – being selected twice for one Olympic Games is quite special. Due to COVID there hasn’t been the usual celebrations on announcement day and kit day and we are so focussed on training that it doesn’t feel real yet. It’ll probably hit me when I am on my way or when I land in Tokyo just how special this experience is.
“During lockdown I moved back to my parent’s farm near Edinburgh and did mostly cross training and running in the Pentlands to keep my fitness up. I also had a rowing machine, weights and tyres I could flip. It was strange to move back home during this time but it was almost like a really good training camp because I’d get up and train in the morning and then there would be lunch ready on the table when I was finished.”
“Representing your country at the Olympic Games is the highest honour you can receive in my sport. It's an achievement which is recognised not just by the athletics community, but by everybody. I feel very proud to be able to say I’m an Olympian and it’s a badge of honour that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life.
“Training during the pandemic has been a lot more difficult than it would normally be. We have had to be adaptable in where we can train as there's been long periods without access to a gym or a track. We also haven't been able to go on our normal training camps abroad throughout the year. It's all been about making the most out of what we have been able to do and being as proactive as possible to the changes that have occurred”
On behalf of the Fettes community, we wish both Katherine and Jake all the very best.