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I haven’t been looking forward to writing this blog entry but here we go. I got back from Europe last Friday. I had almost 4 weeks of (much needed) holidays in Europe after finishing playing at the Olympics. My fiancée and I travelled through France, Italy and Greece and it was just fantastic. I knew I would need to get as far away from the Olympics and from table tennis after I had finished playing and the holiday was just what I needed.

I didn’t win gold and I didn’t walk on the moon. But I am very satisfied with what I achieved in London and over the 18 months that preceded the Games. Leaving a well-paying and secure job to be poor, spend all my savings and chase a dream of doing well at the London Olympics was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

Over the few days after my match against Samsonov, I tried to just maintain my excellent form. Let’s face it – I was in the best form of my life and was enjoying every time I stepped out on court like it was my last. The couple of days after my singles had finished, I felt fantastic. Then something changed and I am still not sure what.

I’d played against former World number 1 Vladimir Samsonov once before, in 2005 at the World Singles Cup, but a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. I did not expect to be playing him again in the last 32 of the Olympic Games after having had my best win ever the day before!

Goodness – where do I start?! The Olympics is a very different experience. Everyone here clearly takes sport pretty seriously and if you take sport seriously (of course that is debatable) it is likely that you’ll see the Olympics as one of the pinnacles of sport. There is a real sense of occasion being here in London and competing at such a major event.

Day one of training in Preston completed and i have never felt so tired. Having finished the long journey from Melbourne to Preston yesterday at around 4pm i am still so physically and mentally drained from the journey.

I had a very early start (5am wakeup) this morning and then flew from Stuttgart, Germany to London. I met up with the rest of the Aussie TT team and we then flew to Manchester. From there it was a 45 minute drive to Preston where we will be training for the next few days. I had a gym session this afternoon (the others who had arrived from Australia were too tired to train – quite understandably) which will be my last good session until competition.

I’m staying near Stuttgart airport tonight before jetting off early tomorrow morning to meet up with the rest of the Australian table tennis team in England. We will spend 4 days in Preston, near Manchester, training with the English and US teams as well as playing a test match against England in front of a sell-out crowd.

I'm just about to leave the airport to head to London for my first Olympic Games, its a pretty nervous time right now, however you can't help but be really excited at the same time.

For such a big event, you always try and make sure you have everything you need, not only checking it once but checking it twice!!

We will be having internet access at the village, so both William and I will be blogging constantly to keep everyone up to date with all the exciting things going on

I’ve been in Europe for 8 days now and boy how time has flown. I flew to Vienna and spent 4 days training together with the Austrian and Hungarian national teams, who are both preparing for the Olympics that start next week. I had great sessions with Robert Gardos (WR29), Daniel Habesohn (WR69), Adam Pattantyus (WR80), Daniel Zwickl (WR131) and Stefan Fegerl (WR141) and left in much better shape than when I arrived. It is not always easy to get access to that level of sparring and to be able to fit in 7 sessions with those guys was very successful.