Massey Looks Ahead To Rio Olympics
Monday 1st August 2016 @ 16:04 by Mark Phillip

Former Denton Community College PE teacher Kelly Massey has journeyed to Brazil to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The 31-year-old (pictured) will represent Team GB in the 4x400m relay event on Saturday 20 August.

Massey is likely to be in the team alongside former World Champion Christine Ohuruogu.

As she approaches the twilight of her career, the forthcoming event will mark her first – and last – Olympic Games.

However, Massey is no stranger to big occasions.

In fact, the Sale Harriers star has competed at the World University Games, Commonwealth Games and the European Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

Massey’s most notable achievements came during the 2010 Commonwealth Games and 2015 European Indoor Championships after claiming silver in the 4x400m relay on both occasions.

Add a first place finish in the 2016 European Championships to the mix, and it’s clear to see why confidence is booming.

For the first time in her career – which seriously took off after being selected to represent the British team at the 2007 World University Games – the Coventry born athlete has been the subject of National Lottery Funding.

A well-received boost, the funding provides athletes with the best possible chance of winning medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Massey said: “Having the National Lottery Funding has made a huge difference.

“It’s allowed me to kind of drop my contract as being a PE teacher at school.

“I can now concentrate on my training, resting and obviously getting rehab and physio.”

Ahead of her Olympic debut, is Massey looking forward to a particular element of the games? “I think I’m excited about the whole experience” she said.

“In 2008, I ended up being bitten when I was away on warm weather training, so as a result of that I couldn’t bear weight on my foot.”

Massey was dealt another blow four years later. She added: “I ended up getting glandular fever in 2012, so it’s almost like it’s third time lucky.

“I’m just really looking forward to the whole experience because obviously it will be my first Olympics, but also my last Olympics as well.”

While many athletes are recognised for their pre-event superstitions, Massey doesn’t have any.

She does, however, have a long-standing routine. She added: “I’m going to take a bear which some of my friends have given to me, so that’s my good luck charm this year.

“I don’t really have any superstitions, but one of my routines is always getting into the block the same way.
“It’s been like that for about 15 years.”

The 2016 Olympics officially begin on Friday evening with the opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium.

The event will begin at 12 midnight UK time.