I had a feeling of being on top of something I had never felt before.

Although we couldn’t have known the success or significance that followed, it makes me smile now to think how it was a female face that was chosen to represent the Games. At the time I didn’t take much notice of people calling me ‘the face of the games’. But over the last few years, looking back, it’s an element I’m really proud of. Somehow it happened, a strange and strange thing.

Of course it wasn’t official and no one came up to me and asked, “Are you happy to take on this role to be the face of the Games? This is what it takes…” But I knew why. Was selected – I was expected to win gold.

Yet, I have never felt that I am at the forefront of everything, or that I am a woman. Looking back now it’s something I’m really proud of. I always say I wouldn’t change a thing – it was such an honor and privilege. Many players do not experience this.

My own memories of London 2012 were, initially at least, quite full. Before the competition I was very worried about my long jump. I was in the best shape of my life. I had a sense of being on top of something I had never felt before. But I had a terrible long jump session in Portugal, I couldn’t get on board, and we had crisis meetings about what we were going to do.

I remember Paul Bryce, my biomechanist, being very good at checking my runway speed, my foot position going into the board, fine tuning those margins to make a difference. But still I couldn’t get my rhythm and I didn’t feel confident with it. I remember going back to my room every session and breaking down thinking “I’m not injured but this one event could ruin my gold medal chances”. It was terrifying.

Poor Andy, my then fiancé, now husband, I used to call him crying every day. But in the end I got all the bad jumps out of the way, and by the second day I was in a really good position. My jump of 6.48 meters was all I needed.

Once I was in the stadium I could feel my rhythm on the track. I blew the net and cleared the barriers in the first event – honestly it was one of the best moments of my career.

I was very nervous. The track felt so fast in the warm-up area, I remember thinking “Is this normal? Am I ready to run or is this a bad sign? I was in the shape of my life, but I still jerked at that point.” Realized, it was a blur, the speed of my turnover, the race just rattled. This result convinced me that I just needed to do what I always did, and deliver.