Diver Dan Goodfellow has been dealing with a new normal for longer than most and feels Olympic postponement will help groove his transition from platform to springboard, writes Tom Harle.
The 23-year-old has dropped from the ten-metre tower – where he won bronze with Tom Daley at Rio 2016 – to the three-metre board with reigning Olympic champion Jack Laugher.
Goodfellow admits the switch has been a shock to the system but an end to his injury issues and love for tough targets means he’s raring to go for the rearranged Tokyo Games.
“It’s been tough to have the Olympics postponed but it’s not actually a bad thing for me,” said the Cambridge-born star, now based in Leeds.
“I’ve only been doing springboard for two years and most of our rivals have been doing it their whole lives.
“An extra year until the Olympics is more time for me to get better and more time to get used to the springboard. It's a blessing in disguise to get prepared.
“I do miss going up on the platform. Technically, it's easier for me and my body knows it better than the springboard.
“But when I jumped from that height I had big problems with triceps and shoulder injuries, so being able to train and not having to worry about missing days is a huge relief.
“I’m really enjoying the 3m at the minute, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed the sport more. It’s a new challenge and there are lots of things I need to improve on.”
It really is all change for the Commonwealth Games gold medallist and during lockdown, he took the decision with his partner Lydia to buy a house in the Leeds area.
Goodfellow stayed with Lydia’s parents during lockdown and carved out a home workout space in their basement, but the couple quickly sought independence and their own place.
Goodfellow is relishing a base of his own to launch into the new Olympic year – although learned while buying that, as in his sport, preparation is king.
“Home's really important to me, I need somewhere where I'm going to be able to relax, somewhere I can put my feet up after a tough day of training and put my mind at ease,” he said.
“It's so important to switch off outside of a diving environment and it was a great moment when we got the keys on our own place.
“Preparation in sport is everything and the more you do in the lead-up to a competition, the better you’ll perform. You have to prepare so much to buy a house and we learned a few lessons there!”
Goodfellow will prepare in earnest to help defend Laugher’s Olympic title – Britain’s first gold medal in the sport – that he won with Chris Mears four years ago.
A spot atop the podium will be the aim but Goodfellow says the Games will be a special moment for the world at large when it opens in July 2021.
“Jack and I have the same mentality – we want to win every competition and the gold medal that he got with Chris showed that the Chinese divers are beatable,” said Goodfellow.
“The Olympics next year will be amazing for everyone. Athletes have worked their whole lives towards it - it's not just four years, we've been training for it since we were small.
“There's not too much good news at the minute, so it will be great for people at home to watch the athletes do what they do best in Tokyo.”
Purplebricks is the UK’s leading estate agent and offers customers a transparent and convenient way to buy, sell, or let. As the Official Estate Agent of Team GB, they are supporting the national squad in the build-up to Tokyo. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.purplebricks.co.uk