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Lauren Price: ‘I still can’t believe it’

Lauren Price
Karl Bridgeman/Getty Images/BOA
Olympic gold medallist Lauren Price in her own words on her triumph in Tokyo and what's next

I was nervous, being in the Olympic Games, the biggest tournament of my career. As the tournament went on, like any other tournament I kind of relaxed into my rhythm, then I get more comfortable each fight.

Against Nouckha Fontijn in the semi-final to win that fight, if I rushed then I would have played straight into her hands because that’s what she wanted. For me it was sticking to my gameplan. When I had a point off, in that moment you could panic but, I don’t know, I’m a laid back person as it is anyway. I just knew I needed a big last round.

Going into the final, I knew Qian Li hadn’t lost since Rio. She wasn’t at the Worlds in Russia but she hadn’t lost since Rio. I knew she was quite tricky. I thought it would be a very technical fight, which it was. But in the first round, within 45 seconds I’d say, she felt a little bit lost. She didn’t know what to do with me and I felt really good. I really enjoyed that fight, it was great.

On the podium I was a little bit emotional but I kind of held myself together and when I got interviewed it kind of came out a little bit, especially when they mentioned my granddad and my nan. For me it’s been such a journey and they were such a massive part of it. For me to bring that medal back to my nan, that was pretty special.

She’s over the moon. When I came back and there were loads of people here, she was the first person to come across, it’s the quickest I’ve seen her move. She sprinted down the road and wrapped her arms around me. I was away from her six weeks. Obviously we spoke on the phone and Facetimed and she sends me inspirational text messages every time I fight, but it was nice to come home to her and see her.

Coming home was pretty crazy. I thought there’d be a couple of people there but when I pulled up, there were loads of people outside my house, with cards and gifts.

We were in a bubble in Tokyo and then once we got off the plane everyone was around us, interviewing us, taking pictures. For the last year and a bit, we’ve all been distanced, the world’s been on hold. Just to be around everyone, it’s nice to be back to normal.

The schools have done drawings of the Olympics, the younger kids looking up to me. A big thing for me is trying to inspire the next generation. It was nice to come home and have pictures with the kids and you can see their faces light up. It’s nice to come home and see that support given back to me.

It’s still sinking in now. I still can’t believe it.

We had an amazing team. It might be another 100 years before we have another team like it. We’re going to enjoy that time.

I don’t know what I’m doing to do next. I’m not going to rush. I’m going to take my time. A lot of doors have opened for me. But I’m just going to enjoy the time I’ve got off. I’ve won gold and I’m going to focus on that for now and enjoy my time.

An offer from a professional promoter is going to have to be good because GB is such a great set up. We’ve got everything. It would have to be life-changing to be honest, for me to turn over. I love GB for one, I love travelling the world and competing but obviously the set up financially – you’re safe. You’ve got a monthly income.

Lauren Price boxing

Obviously since winning Olympic gold I’ve had a lot of people get in touch with me and stuff like that. It is a bit crazy to be honest. But like I said, we’ll just wait and see.

For me go down the professional route, even though there are opportunities there and I’m thinking about it, but it would have to be big for me to go.

There’s obviously opportunities out there but we’re in no rush. We’ve got plenty of time.

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