Smith - 'Olympics is like living in a dreamworld'
GB women's doubles player Lauren Smith talks about her Olympic experience and what it means to have support from friends, family and the general public.
My time competing at the Olympics has come to and end and it was a pretty up and down three days!
We lost our opening game after a good performance and tight second set, but struggled to match the level of our opponents consistently in our second match against the third seeds.
Then we managed to pick ourselves up and battle through a slightly ugly final match.
I'm really pleased we managed to win the last group game, it wasn't the prettiest we've played but we fought hard against a pair playing a very unorthodox style!
If there's one thing Heather and I do well it's fight to get every shot back!
Having to pick yourself up after a loss, to play another match, isn't something we do a lot (most tournaments are straight knock out).
As someone who really really hates losing, no matter the situation, it was difficult not to dwell on negatives from the previous day, so that was a bit of a learning curve!
But we did our best to focus on what we did well in the first game and how we handled our first taste of Olympic competition.
Having my family over here supporting really helped me relax and get a bit of perspective, plus their Olympic enthusiasm is completely contagious!
Lauren's family from left: John, dad Andrew, Lynn, brother Luke and mum Nicola
I've really loved getting behind the rest of the team, they've all played some awesome matches.
Both doubles pairs took out the seeds on Friday, which caused me to lose my voice from cheering!
My Olympic experience overall is still making me feel like I'm living in a dream world!
Super Sunday was spectacular, I didn't stop getting medal alerts on my phone!
I love seeing the emotions when they finally achieve a lifelong dream, it's true Olympic spirit and definitely what drives me everyday.
I can't say enough how much your support means to the whole team.
We see all the messages and it really does make a difference. For me it still doesn't feel real, being an Olympian.
I feel proud wearing the kit and being announced to represent Great Britain, but the thing that's made me feel most Olympian is the messages I've had from home.
Old friends getting in touch, people staying up to watch me, friends talking about me on the radio (nicely I hope), being on the big screen at my local pub.... it's been crazy!
But it's a daily reminder of how special this all is, and how important it is to relish it all. So thank you!
See all the stars of Rio in Birmingham next March!
Tickets for the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships 2017 at the Barclaycard Arena are now on general sale.
Click here to buy your tickets now.
“It is going past in a whirlwind just now but I am sure I will look back on it as so far it’s been nothing but good stuff.”
See all the stars of Rio in Birmingham next March! Tickets for the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships 2017 at the Barclaycard Arena are now on general sale.