My first job when arriving in London was to drive to the international railway and pick up Dani and her Coach Denis Knowles after a succesful pre London campaign which included a victory in the Paris Diamond League where she beat the eventual Olympic champion and also a solid 2nd place in a lead up meet in Germany. Her coach's first comment to me " she will be ready, it's coming together at the right time".. hearing this from him is not a cliche', as he is my father there is always honesty, he would never just say that to me ( if it wasn't going well he would tell me ) so hearing this gave me great confidence from the start. It's something we always do which is trust the plan, trust is crucial in any plan and commitment to it is something Dani does like no other. My next job was to be there to help team samuels throughout the training camp in Tonbridge, mainly in the gym but just anything I could to be there for her and her coach on and off the track. London 2012 was something which meant a lot to me and all Allstars support crew as we knew what it meant for Dani. Everything we have ever done was always a stepping stone to London, the world titles, the Olympic final in 2008, all the days training harder than anyone you can think of, the sacrifices by her and so many around her, everything was for this year. For me I was proud before she even flew out...I remember the early days when she use to turn up with her parents and a family full of kids in the green Mitsubishi van. They were the best family.. They would spring out of the car with such enthusiasm you couldn't give them anything less. Mum and Dad were very sporty, very active, her brothers and sisters very athletic and competitive. They took nothing too serious and track and field was fun for them once or twice a week. It was in the family that she would always succeed.
The training camp in Tonbridge was fantastic. The facilities world class and the preparation by Athletics Australia was also first class. I was there as a personal coach to her and only occasionally had to throw the managers hat on with some media and dealing with one or two things back home, other than that my priority as a manager meant let all the focus be on the training.
This period was a smooth preparation, the wind conditions didn't allow the type of throws that give you huge confidence but Dani had recent performances to draw on for confidence. She was not alone in this as all throwers struggled for huge distances in Tonbridge. Dani had some great company amongst her team mates and one of them being Kim Mickle, do yourself a favour and watch her on youtube (Kim Mickle tricks). A fun day before weight training was to challenge her and kim with a game of basketball. My father and I were smashed ( we didnt want to go hard as we didn't want any injuries and were all about their confidence... yeah right!!!)