First Olympic memories: Athletes share the stories that ignited their love for the Games 

Drummers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Drummers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

With just one year to go until next year's Games, Tokyo 2020 asked athletes around the world about their very first memories of the Olympics. In the first of three features, Tokyo 2020 speaks to Amy Hunt, Oswaldo Guimaraes, Elodie Clouvel and Bruno Hortelano.

Amy Hunt, Great Britain, Athletics

U-18 200m world record holder, European U-20 gold medal winner and Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopeful.

Amy Hunt of Great Britain celebrates winning the Women's 60m final at the Emirates Arena on February 22, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Amy Hunt of Great Britain celebrates winning the Women's 60m final at the Emirates Arena on February 22, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
2020 Getty Images

I massively used to look up to her.

I reckon I definitely had a poster of her at one point on my wall.

"My earliest Olympic memory was probably watching the Beijing Opening Ceremony. I think I was probably like six or seven. That's the first memory of the Olympics I have, seeing all the drums and drummers, that’s my kind of overriding memory."

"I must have watched Usain Bolt but I don’t necessarily remember it.

"So my first proper experience was London 2012 when I was in Year 5 at school, probably 10 years old. And that was insane, watching Jess Ennis. Obviously she was such a huge inspiration for me as a young girl.

"I massively used to look up to her. I reckon I definitely had a poster of her at one point on my wall. She was such an inspiration for me and such an idol.

"Watching Super Saturday was so inspiring and so incredible to prove that, yeah, that’s something I can do. I could reach that high as well."

Amy Hunt talks about her first Olympic memory 

Oswaldo Guimaraes, Brazil, Handball

Rio 2016 Olympian and 2015 Pan-American Championship gold medallist.

Oswaldo Guimaraes of Brazil shoots during the match between Sweden and Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Oswaldo Guimaraes of Brazil shoots during the match between Sweden and Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

The boy who regretted that there were no Games in his country in 2004

was able to compete in the Games in 2016 on home soil.

"My first memory of the Olympic Games is from Atlanta 96. As a sports fan, it seemed like a gift to turn on the television at any time and be able to watch the competition live."

"The following year, I have the memory of the candidacy of Rio 2004. Although I saw 2004 as the distant future at seven years old, I was very excited by that possibility. Unfortunately, Rio did not manage to host the Games that year. But by chance they tried again for 2016 and this time it was a success.

"Life's coincidences: the boy who regretted that there were no Games in his country in 2004, was able to compete in the Games in 2016 on home soil. That was a unique experience and sensation in my life."

Atlanta 1996 Official Film | Atlanta's Olympic Glory
03:26:28

Elodie Clouvel, France, Modern Pentathlon

2016 Olympic silver medallist, 2013 mixed relay World Champion and 2016 individual World Championship silver medallist.

Silver medallist Elodie Clouvel of France on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's Modern Pentathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Silver medallist Elodie Clouvel of France on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's Modern Pentathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

Seeing Laure Manaudou winning in front of me

made me cry and realise that I really wanted to become Olympic champion

"My first Olympic memory was Laure Manaudou in Athens 2004 when she became Olympic champion in the 400m freestyle."

"I was in front of my TV... 15-years-old. I wanted to become Olympic champion at a very young age but seeing Laure Manaudou winning in front of me, I was 15 and a swimmer at that time, about to join the sport study program, made me cry and realised that I really wanted to become Olympic champion. It became concrete and real. 'This is possible'.

"She made me dream when she won in Athens. I remember the race, I remember the time by heart: 4:05:34. I can see myself sitting on this couch at my parents watching the final.

"This is my best Olympic memory. The one that made me realise that becoming Olympic champion was possible."

Elodie Clouvel talks about her first Olympic memory

Bruno Hortelano, Spain, Athletics

2016 Olympic 200m semi-finalist, 2016 European 200m champion and 2018 European 4x400m bronze medallist.

Bruno Hortelano of Spain celebrates winning the gold medal in the final of the men's 200m at the European Athletics Championships.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Bruno Hortelano of Spain celebrates winning the gold medal in the final of the men's 200m at the European Athletics Championships. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

I'm a dreamer...

The same child that was eight years old and dreamed about the Olympics

"I'm a dreamer, I'm an artist and I continue to be a child. The same child that was eight years old and dreamed about the Olympics after seeing the Games in Sydney on the TV."

"The eight-year-old child watching the Games in Sydney didn't imagine that he could compete in one, not one little bit. I only wanted to be the fastest child in my class, in Toronto. Those were my Olympic Games."

Sydney 2000 - Closing Ceremony
02:36:22