WHEN Clitheroe’s Samantha Murray opens her eyes on Sunday, she will realise her lifetime’s ambition.
The 22-year-old helps bring the curtain down on London 2012, competing for the final medals to be awarded in the modern pentathlon at Greenwich Park.
And it will be an early start, as the former Bowland High School pupil competes in the first discpline, fencing, at 8 a.m.
Then follows the 200m freestyle swim at 12-35 p.m., the riding - over a 12-jump course - at 2-35 p.m., before the run/shoot combined event at 6 p.m.
But while she may be somewhat bleary-eyed when she peels back the bed covers on Sunday, she will take on a title no-one can ever take away from her: “When I wake up on Sunday and do the competition, then I become an Olympian.
“Until then, I just have to stay injury-free and focus on the task I’m doing.
“I’m still in the process of training towards becoming what I hope to be.
“Ask me after Sunday and I’ll be able to tell you what it’s like.”
Murray has enjoyed a remarkable year in the sport, having taken time out from the Great Britain squad last year, while experiencing six months on a study placement in Paris as part of her French and Politics degree at the University of Bath.
She began Olympic year ranked 78th in the world, but in the World Cup series just got better and better, finishing sixth and fourth, before claiming a bronze medal in Russia.
That was backed up by the performance of her life to finish third behind team-mate Mhairi Spence at the World Championships in Rome in May, taking a bronze medal to seal a place on Team GB ahead of 2008 Olympic silver-medallist Heather Fell.
And she hopes home advantage, and a vociferous home support, will spur her on to similar feats on Sunday: “The World Championships is arguably a stronger competition than the Olympics, but even so, you never know what will happen in competition, and all the big names will be there.
“We’re going to have a home crowd behind us though, I’ve got tickets for my family, and that should give me the surge to push on when I need it.”