Renshaws set for adventure of a lifetime at Rio Olympics

Molly Renshaw, Ripley swimmer
Molly Renshaw, Ripley swimmer

As Molly Renshaw is set to realise her ambition of competing at the Rio 2016 Olympics, the rest of her family are preparing for an adventure of their own.

The Renshaw party, including her mum Jane, will fly out to watch the 20-year-old swimmer compete in the 100m and 200m breaststroke for Great Britain in Brazil next month.

But they were rocked last Wednesday by the news they couldn’t have the tickets they wanted to watch Molly swim, despite already having booked flights and accommodation.

A mix-up in allocations resulted in a mad-dash to the internet and telephones to sort it out, which they were able to do thanks to the efforts of the wider swimming community.

Jane explained: “British Swimming could only offer one ticket per swimmer but we wanted four so were advised to book through Swimming Australia, as did a lot of other families.

“But they allocated more tickets than what were available and so we were told we didn’t have any. It meant a big rush to sort tickets out and fortunately we’ve managed to do it.

“We were really touched with the way the Australians rallied round and got us some tickets. We have got to meet someone outside the arena to collect the tickets.

“We booked it wanting to have tickets in hand but it’s not worked out that way and so we are going out there not knowing if we do or who the person looks like to get them from.”

And added: “It’ll be an adventure. We’ve never been to Brazil before. There’s no hotels either so we’ve rented an apartment in what we are told is a safe place, so hopefully it will all be OK.”

Molly flew out with rest of Team GB on Friday from Heathrow and the family are scheduled to follow shortly after the opening ceremony on August 5.

Jane said: “We went to see her before the flight. She has a massive 100kg luggage allowance, four suitcases, due to the kit. She’s excited and I think the reality is kicking in.

“You work so hard and for so long for something I think it’s starting to hit home a little and when she meets up with the rest of the team I think that’s when she’ll really feel it.

“She’s been on quite a few trips before but they say that there’s nothing like this, it’s a completely different experience and one she’s looking forward to - we all are.

“The athletes will enjoy it but they know there’s still hard work to be done. They have to remain focused and Molly knows what she’s there for. We just hope it’s there on the day.”

The Selston swimmer narrowly missed out on competing at London 2012 but the dream of competing at the Olympic Games never died, said proud mum Jane.

“It’s all a bit surreal,” she said. “She has always wanted to compete in the Olympics and had that ambition to do it. It’s been her dream and that’s what’s driven her on and kept her going.

“It’s good to have ambitions, not everyone gets to live out their own, so for her to be there and living her’s it is something she should be very proud of. We’re very proud parents.”

“People have been saying since she was aged ten of ‘aiming for Rio’ and ‘we’ll be there when she gets there’ and now it’s finally here, it’s quite surreal,” added Jane.