Samantha Murray is a woman of many talents, with a number of titles to her name, Double Olympian, Olympic Silver Medallist, World Champion, European Champion, World Cup Gold, Five Time National Champion and World Record Holder.
She won the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the bronze medal at the 2012 World Championships. In 2014, she won individual gold and team silver medals at the 2014 World Championships. In 2015, Murray reached world number #1 in the Modern Pentathlon World Rankings after taking Gold at the USA World Cup followed by a 5th place at the Berlin World Championships. Murray finished in 8th Place at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil.
Women Fitness President joins the exceptional sports star on her journey to success.
At the age of 12, you competed in your first Modern Pentathlon. Since 2003, your progression through the junior and youth competitions showed that you were a talent for the future. Walk us through your spectacular journey and tell us how it all began?
I was a sporty, active girl and loved being outdoors. My grandparents had a small farm with horses. This was my favourite place to spend school holidays and weekends. I felt so at ease around the horses and loved being outside all day in the countryside. It was a blessing. At the same time, my Mum enrolled me to swim school in my local town, she really wanted me to be a confident swimmer. I also played tennis, netball and went to gymnastics! It was great. At school, there was a trial race for the cross-country running team. I remember standing on the start line and feeling a surge of adrenaline. It was awesome. I started to run and just got faster and faster. It was emancipating and exhilarating. I won the race and went on to run for my school team. My PE teacher asked my Mum to take me to the local athletics club as she felt that I had talent. From here, I started running for the club and become county champion. It was at a swimming gala when a parent approached my Mum. He knew about me riding horses and had seen my running achievements in the local newspaper. He explained that he managed a pentathlon club and was looking for more girls to join. There was shooting and fencing equipment available to borrow and practice nights were on Fridays before swimming. I learnt about the pentathlon and it’s place in the Olympic Games; it sounded amazing to me! I began training and competing with the team. From here my journey began and I didn’t look back.
Your defining moment came at the London 2012 Olympics, where you wrote your way into the history books as Olympic Silver Medallist. Share your journey, both high & low moments?
For me the Olympics in London were a life dream come true. It had been my long term goal to make that Olympic Games. However, I had to accept that at 22 years old, I was very young for my sport and so there was always a chance that I just wouldn’t be ready in time. I remember feeling fearful of how I would feel if I did not make it. This drove me to be even more focused and make sure that, whatever the outcome, I could find peace in knowing that I had truly given everything in pursuit of my goal. This meant that my journey to qualifying was really difficult; I juggled school, college and university (I couldn’t let go of education as I needed qualifications for my life after sport) and also had some part-time jobs. I let go of most of the elements of teenage life and would constantly ask myself: “what’s important now for my goal?” This was hard and often sad when it came to parties, holidays and spending time with my family & friends. In terms of the journey though, this was absolutely the best! I believe any achievement or milestone in life is defined as being worthwhile by the process in getting to that point. In my pursuit of Olympic success, I experienced so many cultures around the world and met individuals who shaped my perspective of the world. International friendships are priceless. By challenging myself, I learnt what I truly valued and wanted from life. Who and what was worth it and also the bits that were better left behind.
Society places so much attention on the winner, the best, the greatest…but actually I’ve found that in my losses and defeats, I’ve discovered more about myself that I can take forward to evolving and becoming a healthier and happier individual. My advice for anyone who worries about the ‘ifs’ and potential failure is forget the idea that you can ever be not good enough in the eyes of the world, your family and even yourself. The moment when you took that step in your journey and committed to it; you immediately became successful. Life is a journey not a goal. Enjoy it.
This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President womenfitness.net and should not be reproduced, copied or hosted in part or full anywhere without an express permission.
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