After a decade in international hockey following her debut in 2011, Maddie Hinch knows that she’s older – 32 – and that her body “doesn’t allow me to do certain things as before”.
Yet it’s hard to believe this statement given the spring and dynamism we have grown to know behind the helmet for England and Great Britain over the last six or so years when she has prospered in goal. “But it doesn’t mean it [my body] is any less effective,” she adds. “Maybe you will see a slightly different style but my intent and passion is still there.”
Hockey goalkeeping has been in Hinch’s blood since a teacher first suggested the position 20 years ago. Such has been the rise of her status, it is little wonder that she describes the last five years as a “rollercoaster” journey. Rio gold, public adulation, taking time out of the game after the 2018 World Cup and talking openly a few months ago on her mental health battles.
The pressures of elite sport are unforgiving at times – even for a hockey player. But as Hinch prepares for her second Olympics, hearing her talk of her No.1 position is a joy to behold.
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