Hemp reveals childhood significance of Olympic choice

From the “Hemp Olympics” as a ten-year-old to appearing on one of the largest sports stages in the world, the city winger describes what the selection of Team GB means for her.

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As part of Hege Riise’s 18-man squad, Lauren Hemp and nine of her City teammates will compete in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Hemp’s pick is just a reward for a stellar season at Academy Stadium, where it was named PFA Young Player of the Year for the second year running.

Our winger was asked to describe her feelings in front of her Team GB-Bogen, revealing that the selection made a childhood dream come true.

When I was about ten, my sister and I did our own Olympics, ”said Hemp.

“It was called the ‘Hemp Olympics’ and around the time of the Olympics we went into the garden, jumped over bushes and saw how far we could get!

“We did all these different events and in the end I won of course (!), But we did our own Olympics.

“So, yeah, that was fun!”

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Hemp’s formidable campaign gets perhaps even more impressive when you consider she was put on hold until early December with an Achilles tendon injury.

However, after emphatically scoring her first goal of the season a few weeks after her return to the first team in our Champions League Round 32 second leg against Gothenburg, the winger never looked back.

And while she openly admits that the recovery process has not been easy, she firmly believes that it made her a better player.


She pondered: “Of course the injury (at the beginning of the season) wasn’t very good and it took me a long time to come back.

“But I think I used that time effectively and made sure that I am stronger, fitter and faster.

“This time in the gym really helped me get fully fit again and yes, I feel in good shape, even though I know I can still improve and get better and better.

“It will just take time. I think I worked well with Gazza (Taylor) and found several things that I need to improve.”

“But I’m grateful that I was given the opportunity to play … I’m pretty confident right now.”

Team GB will complete preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in a friendly against Zambia on July 1st.

In the first game of the tournament, Hege Riise’s team will meet Chile in Group E on Wednesday, July 21. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. (Great Britain).