Bryony Page’s beaming smile after she completed her second trampoline routine at Rio 2016 was for many the highlight of that year’s Olympics.
To see an athlete so completely overwhelmed with emotion after producing the performance of a lifetime is a memory that will stick in the minds of those who watched forever.
The fact that she then won a silver medal too just made it that bit more special.
While it was an incredible moment to see play out, nothing can match how it must have felt for Page herself to achieve something no British woman had ever done before.
It was the culmination of a long and at time arduous journey too; a journey that certainly didn’t follow the norm.
Unlike many of her counterparts, Page never represented GB at youth level – ‘I just wasn’t one of the top youths. I was always trying to fit into that team of four but was always fifth or sixth’ – and didn’t actually compete at a major championship until becoming a senior.
But instead of giving in she stuck at it, believed in her ability and before long was winning British Championships, World and European team golds and then finally that Olympic silver medal.
Her story provided the perfect lesson to any aspiring athlete; if you really want something enough, you will get it as long – as you persevere.
“My journey has been quite different, not being part of any junior major championships and then getting into senior level, doing ok and building up,” the Sheffield Trampolining Academy member told team-mate and The 52 writer Laura Gallagher in an exclusive interview for SportSpiel.
“It just goes to show that you can start later, you don’t have to be the best in your age group at the time. It’s just about enjoying your journey.
“That’s something I took from the Games. It was just two weeks and one competition. 16 years boiled down to one day. You’ve got to make those just as enjoyable as each other.
Sport is a major part of my life. It’s brought me joy, allowed me to see the world & given me friends for life. It’s inspired me, challenged me, broke me, rebuilt me, made me smile, made me cry, made me sweat, made me stronger, made me ME. 💙 #SportisGREAT🇬🇧 @teamgb @uk_sport pic.twitter.com/0JJN2Lp1Y5
— Bryony Page (@BryonyPage1) August 20, 2019
Even if she hadn’t won a medal that day, Page had already created British history at the Games by becoming one of the first British women to reach an Olympic trampoline final.
She did so alongside Kat Driscoll, who had finished just one spot outside the top eight at London 2012, and sharing the accolade together was something Page was also very proud of.
“For us both to experience it together was something really special,” the 28-year-old said.
“Kat continued after London and fought and fought having just finished outside the final then. To know that she’d made it this time and knowing how much it meant to her, it was really nice.
“It was nice to know that after the competition, whatever happened in the final, both of us would be pleased to have achieved that together.”
With just over a year to go until the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, we caught up with 2016 Olympic silver medallist and trampoline star @BryonyPage1.
She’s on a training camp in the Japanese city at the moment, and is hoping to be back there next year when the Games begin! 🇯🇵🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/cMTHfPsSJb
— British Gymnastics (@BritGymnastics) July 10, 2019
While Page has many fond memories of the final itself – aside perhaps from a slight faux pas on the way to the podium where she walked past it and bumped into gold medallist Rosie MacLennan (‘it was so embarrassing’) – nothing could beat celebrating with her parents that evening.
“For me that was my favourite part, being able to share that moment with them because they’ve supported me my whole life,” she recalled.
“It was fantastic, just seeing so much happiness all at once in all of us.
“I got messages from [my brothers] Jack and Marcus. We saw Marcus’ Facebook post where he’d been at home watching it with his friends were gathered round. They had a picture where each of them had a wine bottle in their hand as if they were downing it and Marcus said ‘well you did say we could have a drink to toast this’! That was quite funny.
“And Jack had written something really lovely where he said ‘last night I posted about being so proud of my sister who is going to compete at the Olympic Games and you want to watch her. Now I’ve never been so proud’. It was so sweet.”
— Team GB (@TeamGB) March 28, 2019
Despite feeling ‘invincible for months and months’ after Rio, it’s not been all plain sailing for Page since as she suffered with ankle injuries that kept her out of action for a prolonged period.
But that silver medal has proved to her that she can compete with the world’s best and now she wants to add individual World and European medals to her collection, starting at the current 2019 Trampoline, Tumbling & DMT World Championships in Tokyo where she has qualified for the individual semi-finals and team final at the time of writing.
“I have unfinished business. I want to find where my limits are. I feel like there’s more in me in terms of difficulty,” she stated.
“I don’t want to be doing anything else right now. Trampolining is what I want to do for as long as I can.
“I’d like to compete a harder routine and succeed at major championships at my potential. I’ve got close at World Championships before. In 2010 I did the best routine I could have done at that time and finished fourth. I’ve done a European where I finished fourth but was way off where I could do.
“There’s more in me and I just want to keep pushing myself and if I can compete in another Olympic Games that would be fantastic.”
— SportSpiel (@SportSpielPod) November 24, 2019
You can follow Bryony in action alongside team-mates Gallagher, Driscoll and Izzy Songhurst until 1 December on the BBC Sport website and BBC Red Button.