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How did you get started in gymnastics?The sport had always caught my attention, plus I had a lot of energy when I was little, which helped me a lot in gymnastics.How has the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship helped you?ANA SOFÍA GÓMEZ PORRASAFTER COMPETING IN THE YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES IN SINGAPORE IN 2010, GUATEMALAN GYMNAST ANA SOFÍA GÓMEZ PORRAS IS HOPING HER OLYMPIC SOLIDARITY SCHOLARSHIP WILL HELP HER SHINE IN LONDON IN 2012INTERVIEWFor the moment, the Olympic Solidarity Schlarship is helping me to continue my studies.You competed in the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. What was that like for you?It was one of the best experiences of my life because it was my first international competition and the standard was so high. How much do you think your experiences in Singapore have helped your career?I think it was very important because while I was there I competed against very talented rivals who I will face regularly in the future. It also helped me realise that I have the potential to compete at an international level. What has been your greatest sporting achievement so far?Qualifying for the Olympic Games and winning the silver medal in the all-around event and the gold medal in the balance beam at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara in 2011.What are your targets for the London 2012 Olympic Games?I want to do my best in the competition and hopefully win a medal.What is a typical training week like for you?It is a week that is full of challenges and opportunities!What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?I love watching TV and trying out new gadgets. I also listen to all sorts of music.Do you use social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, to keep in touch with people?Yes, I use these social networks to find out what people are doing and also to see if anyone has been in touch with me.Did you have any sporting heroes when you were younger?I have always admired Rafael Nadal very much. He is a great tennis player.68 OLYMPIC REVIEW OLYMPIC SOLIDARITY

What was it like growing up in Barbados?In one word: fun! The Caribbean is a great place to grow up, and my childhood was always full of activities, from playing cricket on the beach to climbing coconut trees. Barbados is also very small, so many of my friends were only a quick bicycle ride away. I was never bored, that's for sure!When did you first start playing tennis?I was about nine when a local coach called Sydney Lopez came to my primary school to coach tennis. He invited me and my older brother, Chris, to a tennis tournament and the rest is history. Sydney and I are still very close and I keep in touch with him regularly and train with him when I can. How has the Olympic Solidarity programme helped you?It has made a tremendous difference to my life. It has enabled me to travel and, were it not for the programme, I probably wouldn't be where I am today. Coming from a small island, funding is sometimes difficult to come by, so the Olympic Solidarity programme has been crucial to me advancing my tennis career.What is a typical training week like? I'm currently based in Florida with former professional Martin Blackman. I typically do two to four hours on the court in the morning and then spend two to four hours in the gym in the evening. I also do a lot of running in my spare time.Where do you draw your inspiration from when you play?My mother. She was the one that pushed me to succeed at tennis. Unfortunately, she passed away less than a year ago. But she is the reason that I still do this today. I play tennis to honour her. It's been extremely tough. I know within myself that she is still here in spirit. She would be pleased to know that I'm giving it 100% day in, day out.You competed at the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. What are your thoughts about the concept of the YOG?I absolutely loved the Singapore YOG! It was a privilege for me to be an ambassador for my country on an Olympic stage. It was also exciting to learn about different cultures through the Culture and Education Programme. It was an unforgettable experience, which I will treasure for the rest of my life.What are some of your fondest memories while representing Barbados on the international stage? There are many, but I would have to say playing at three of the four Grand Slams and participating in the singles tournament at the YOG and the Pan American Games in Guadalajara last year. Playing in the Davis Cup ranks high too.Could we see you back at Wimbledon during the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer? It is extremely difficult for me to qualify but, if I make it to London, that would be a dream come true. My fingers are definitely crossed. I'm also looking forward to playing at the Wimbledon Grand Slam again. Participating at both events - the Olympic Games and Wimbledon - was something I only dreamt about as a young child. What advice would you give to an aspiring Olympian? I would tell them to be patient, work hard and make sure they have a coach who has their best interests at heart. After that, it all boils down to discipline and determination.DARIAN KINGWITH THE HELP OF OLYMPIC SOLIDARITY SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING, 20-YEAR-OLD BARBADIAN TENNIS STAR DARIAN KING IS READY TO TAKE THE STEP UP FROM YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES AND JUNIOR GRAND SLAMS TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES AND OTHER SENIOR TOURNAMENTS IN 2012INTERVIEWOLYMPIC REVIEW 69OLYMPIC SOLIDARITY