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London 2012 dream is reality for Holly Lam-Moores
WHEN Holly Lam-Moores walks out in to the Handball Arena later this month only then will she let herself believe her Olympic dream is getting closer to becoming a reality.
The Burnley-born star has been a part of the Great Britain set-up from the beginning – and it is a journey she hopes will end at London 2012.
While the former Alder Grange High School pupil has never taken anything for granted, the London Handball Cup – a test event for the real thing – while give the 20-year-old a taste of things to come.
“I have always said that I don’t take anything for granted when it comes to the Olympics,” said Lam-Moores who took up the sport when she joined Haslingden Handball Club as a youngster.
“But this test event will give us a real taste of what is to come. It will be surreal really because we have all worked incredibly hard to get to this position.
“We’ve trained at the Handball Arena before but have never played a competitive game in front of a crowd before. It will be a special moment for us.”
But Lam-Moores refuses to budge from her mantra of taking anything for granted.
She added: “It has been an incredible journey for everyone involved and we have all been through a lot. But that does not guarantee you a place in the Olympics.
“Anything can happen, a loss of form or injury. We all just have to work has hard as we can and keep on top of our game.”
The test event, which will take place in the Olympic Park from November 23-27 and will include teams from Slovakia, Poland, China, Austria, Angola and Great Britain.
And Lam-Moores and her team-mates have nothing to fear especially after pushing world champions Russia so close last month, narrowly losing 24-16 in a Euro 2012 qualifier.
“That was a turning point for us and made a lot of teams sit up and take note,” added Lam-Moores.
“We have always said that we don’t want to go to the Olympics just to make up numbers.
“In fact, the IOC made sure that wasn’t the case and only gave the Great Britain teams the go ahead last year.”
Great Britain had lost to 34-18 to Montenegro days before the Russia game and many predicted an even bigger margin of victory when they took on the world champions.
“Russia are the world champions and ranked number one in the world,” added Lam-Moores, a winger who scored twice in the memorable game.
“In football terms it was a Premier League team taking on a side from the Conference.
“It doesn’t suddenly make us a team to fear but what it does give us is confidence that we can compete against the better teams.”
It is a high following many lows for Lam-Moores and her team-mates.
The GB training base is Denmark was disbanded due to a cut in funding and players scattered across Europe – some even turning their back on the game for good.
Lam-Moores was one of the lucky ones – not to say one of the talented ones – signing for Danish Division One team AGF.
“It was terrible when we had to leave the training camp and losing funding was a massive blow,” she said. “I got the chance to stay in Denmark and that helped improve my game.”
The test event will make up for a lot of the bad times but, even then, Lam-Moores is taking nothing of granted.
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