It's always hard to put into words what it's like to have fans cheering you on but if you look at the video of me crying on the podium at London 2012 it will give you good idea. That moment was so powerful and overwhelming and I think it highlights the difference that support can make to an athlete's performance and memory of their career.
Four years earlier when I won double gold in Beijing we didn't quite have that same level of noise and enthusiasm to spur me on. But there were still little moments when someone would send me a message of luck or I'd see a Union Flag in the crowd and it would give me that extra little boost that I needed.
When we are training there's no support like that and it's just you against the water but when the competitions come around there's a special something in the air. In London it was electric and every time I took my head out of the water those roars hit me and I'd go back under with a renewed vigour.
There's no way to completely replicate that because it was totally unique and those Games as a whole were just a perfect storm of great performances and British enthusiasm for sport fusing together.
But we can let our athletes know we're supporting them from afar. I do think that in Rio we can all do a little something to give our athletes that extra couple of percent that could make the difference to winning a medal and just missing out.
That's what Team GB's Bring on the Great campaign is all about and I think the athletes today are so lucky to be able to benefit from things like social media and get that feeling support when away from home.
Team GB are also encouraging fans to send messages of support to the athletes at teamgb.com/bringonthegreat. It might not seem like a lot but just something like sending a good luck message can have a huge impact - especially because Team GB will have the messages printed on flags in the Olympic Village and also on their Bahia bands which will be handed out to all the athletes.
The Bahia band is a traditional Brazilian symbol of good fortune and we can show our support to the team, either by wearing the bands ourselves or by sending in our messages.
When you compete at an Olympic Games in another country you're out of your comfort zone for quite a long time and the little things make a big difference. Obviously you've been preparing for that moment for so long but athletes are like everyone else and everyone has those days where you're body just isn't feeling it. So every little nugget that can give you a kick, motivate you and push you on counts and it counts for double when you are on the other side of the world.
Of course it's the athletes who need to perform at the end of the day but we are all in it as one Team GB and if all our athletes know that the country is well and truly behind them then we can achieve some spectacular results together. Join Team GB at www.teamgb.com/club
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