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Grace Reid is ‘not the same person’ since Rio 2016 and revealed the secret key to her transformation – meditation, writes Will Jennings.
The Edinburgh ace was this week officially selected in Team GB’s squad for Tokyo 2020 in a perfectly-formed diving dozen set to descend on Japan.
Reid, 25, finished eighth in the 3m springboard in Brazil five years ago and has since soared to 1m and 3m golds at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and European Championships.
Reid reckons those triumphs have been the making of her and hopes finding peace of mind can fire her to more glory in the Tokyo water this summer.
Reid, whose diving exploits alongside Tom Daley, Jack Laugher and Dan Goodfellow will be broadcast live on Eurosport and discovery+, said: “I don't even think I'm the same person [since the last Olympics].
“That was four or five years ago and so much has happened – I've experienced so much.
“I'm going into this with a lot more knowledge about myself and also about my diving – and that's really exciting.
“I'm hoping to build on the experience from last games and with everything I've learned in the past five years.
“I do [meditation] every morning and sometimes at night, as well.
“Switching off can become really difficult and it's just really helpful in terms of my life balance.
“Even when I'm at the pool, my mind can sort of be going into overdrive and at 100 miles a minute.
“That’s not really a great headspace for diving. So it really helps me stay grounded, come back to the present and be able to focus on the task at hand.”
Reid was first catapulted onto the international stage as a fresh-faced 14-year-old when she was selected to appear for Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
She claimed a precocious sixth-place finish in Delhi but four years later, could only muster ninth in the same 3m springboard event in her home Glasgow water.
Reid has enjoyed a searing diving rise ever since, however, competing for Team GB in Rio before claiming that glittering array of medals in 2017 and 2018.
The Scot also scooped 3m mixed synchro silver at the 2017 World Championships and has emerged as one of British diving’s most highly-rated stars.
Reid will travel to Tokyo alongside the likes of Daley, Laugher, Goodfellow and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix – aged just 16 – and hopes keeping a calm head can inspire a golden diving summer.
She added: “It’s been tough without having any competitions internationally so I think that exposure to that pressure is going to be huge.
“Moving forward, we're still playing around with the dives want to use. We just want to make sure that we're feeling relaxed, comfortable and find our rhythm.
“It’s great to be selected and I’m really excited.”
Watch every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+