It’s got to be a little surreal watching the Olympics unfold knowing that in four years time it could be you with a medal slung round your neck and your name trending as a hashtag.
I suggest as much to Shauna Coxsey, the Runcorn-born climbing queen who not only became the first Brit to win the IFSC Bouldering World Cup earlier this year, but also received an MBE for ‘Services to Climbing’.
“It’s been an amazing year,” she tells me. “When I started working with my coach four years we put out a five year plan, and our goal was to win the overall World Cup. To do that this year was absolutely amazing. And the MBE was a total surprise.
“My boyfriend sent me a message saying ‘you’ve got a letter that looks really important’. We were worried it might have been jury duty or something like that. He opened it up and it said that I’d been nominated for an MBE.”
So, surely Shauna should be relishing the announcement that sport climbing will now feature in the 2020 Olympics Games?
At just 23 years old, Coxsey will be 27 and in the prime of her career when the Games in Tokyo come around. As the best on the planet right now, she could well be in contention for a medal spot. Shauna not only became the first British world champion this year; she did it convincingly, with a round of the seven-event World Cup series to spare.