Rebecca has eyes fixed firmly on 2016 Olympic Games
'Inspire a Generation' is the motto of London 2012, and Rebecca Humphreys believes her supporting role in the current Games is providing all the inspiration she needs to force her way into Team GB in time for the 2016 Games in Brazil.
Based in London, the Fermanagh rower has already escorted the Olympic flame down the Thames and is currently spending her days helping the rowing competitors, but in four years' time she is determined to be out on the water, rowing for Olympic glory.
"The next Olympics are definitely an aim of mine," admitted Rebecca. "It's going to be pretty tough. There are only two spots for lightweight women so you have to be in the top two in the country. I'm going to train up and hopefully get myself into a senior boat in the next couple of years. There's always going to be plenty of places in boats in the world championships and things like that on the way, but it would be pretty cool to make the Olympics."
Rebecca started her love with rowing while she was a student at the Collegiate in Enniskillen. She spent a year on Lough Erne and when she moved to the University of London to study medicine she took her love for the sport with her. She dedicated her spare time to training, and her efforts were rewarded with a place in the final of the World Under 23 Lightweight Women's Quadruple Scull, where she finished fifth.
Since then she has continued to train hard, and has dedicated her spare time to working towards her Olympic dream.
"I probably train around three or four hours a day," she said. "Luckily I'm not in university every day at the minute so I will try to do all my training in the morning. I will have a water session and take a bit of a break and then do either another water session or a gym session and finish around lunchtime."
Rebecca has had her Olympic appetite whetted by the arrival of the Games to the city in which she now resides. Her involvement in the 2012 Olympics started with an offer to row as an escort to the brand new Gloriana royal barge.
"One of my friends whom I row with at London Rowing Club won the Doggett Coach and Badge race, one of the oldest rowing races in history," she explained. "He was then invited to row in the support boat for the Glorianna. They needed another body as well and so I got invited."
Her adventure started last Friday morning. On a day that was to culminate with a memorable opening ceremony, Rebecca took to the water at Imperial Wharf near Fulham, and rowed up the Thames in the shade of Gloriana as it made its way with the flame to Tower Bridge.
"It was amazing," she said. "There was huge crowds lining the banks on both sides, leaning and cheering over every bridge and there were a lot of events going on along the side of the river at the same time. It was amazing and obviously we had a great view of everything that was going on the whole way down."
Her escort ended with the flame being taken onto Tower Bridge, and David Beckham took the flame from the bridge to the Olympic Stadium later that night to end its mammoth 70 day, 8000-mile journey around the United Kingdom.
That did not mark the end of Rebecca's Olympic involvement however.
Once the sport got underway in earnest she was once again in the thick of the activity at the rowing base at Dorney Lake. "I am going out there five days a week," she said. "I'm helping out the rowers, dealing with any problems they may have and welcoming anyone who arrives. I will be there for the whole of the Olympics and Paralympics."
When she is not at her post at the rowing venue, she is getting out and about and spectating at as many of the events as she can get tickets for.
"I watched the cycling road race which went past my house, I watched the men's volleyball and the weightlifting so far," she said. "The city is buzzing and for the rest of the Games I'm looking forward to watching what I can and taking it all in."
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 02 Aug 12