GB captain Adam Dixon has had a packed schedule in 2021, accommodating a new-born while trying to prepare for his second Olympics, writes Paul Eddison.
And while he admits that Rafe, born in mid-January, probably will not see his old man live in action – with Dixon likely to retire after Tokyo, the hope is that others will be inspired by Team GB’s hockey team in Japan.
After all, it was watching the Olympics in the 1990s, hockey and other sports, that convinced Dixon to follow his own sporting dreams.
Dixon said: “My first memories would have been the early 90s. So, Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell and Colin Jackson. It was one of the first times that hockey really stood out to me as an Olympic sport.
“My dad played hockey which is why I ended up playing but I’d never seen it on television. The beauty of the Olympics is that sports that are not in the headlines daily, it gives them a chance to shine. I remember watching GB play against the Australians, the Dutch, the Indians, I just thought this is what I am destined to do. I sort of made a contract with myself.
“It wasn’t until 2016 that I realised that dream but those early memories of Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney in 2000, they stay with me very clearly. In fact, I think I have still got VHS recordings of games at two o’clock in the morning which I have kept watching back until the tapes were breaking.
“If I can replicate that situation for somebody else who maybe is starting to play hockey or has never seen hockey before and it inspires them to start playing. That would be a huge part of my job. Yes, it is about medals, but there is a huge inspiration piece and we saw that with the London Games. If I could inspire the next Adam Dixon to pick up a hockey stick, that would be a dream come true.”
As well as the new-born and his Olympic preparations, Dixon had to cope with a suspected case of Covid in 2020, although he is quick to point out that he was not overly affected.
He added: “Both me and my wife thought we had Covid. It was quite scary. We did not have severe symptoms; my wife lost her sense of taste and I felt groggy for a few days. But it was at a time when there was not widespread testing available so we just had to isolate and then got better and then we could start leaving the house after the isolation period had expired.
“Luckily, it was just a few days for me feeling unwell. I know quite a lot of athletes have spoken about long Covid and the effects but touch wood I’ve been lucky and it’s not impacted me that severely.”
Adam Dixon is working with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo, with the same amazing home support as London 2012. Visit @PurplebricksUK. To enter the draw to receive one of 2,020 limited edition prints, visit https://page.purplebricks.co.uk/teamgb_homesupport/