Next Olympics in sight

HER life-long Olympic dream has finally come true, but Hockeyroo Jade Close isn't stopping yet.

Recently named Senior Sportstar for August 2012 by the Penrith Valley Sports Foundation, Close said her Olympic debut at the London Games was unforgettable.

"Obviously it was very exciting to have your dream come true," Close said.

Despite missing out on a spot in the semi-finals, the 24-year-old said she wouldn't change a thing about her first performance on the Olympic stage.

"To lose only one game in our pool was incredible," she said.

"We could have done better, but we had a young side and a coach change 17 months before the Games, so to do so well when we are still developing was great."

Although Close didn't come home with a medal, she did return with plenty of fond memories and personal highlights.

"Getting my Olympic uniforms and bodysuit was really exciting," Close said.

"Our first game and stepping out in front of an 18,000-crowd and scoring my first goal was incredible."

Although she has been based in Perth training with the Hockeyroos for the past three years, the former Penrith junior said she was grateful to win Senior Sportstar of the Month.

"It's great to know that people back home still support me," Close said.

"It helps along the way to know everyone still loves you."

Her advice to athletes hoping to follow in her footsteps was to never give up.

"Stick at it," she said. "Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it."

As for the future, Close will stop at nothing to fulfil her new Olympic dream.

"My aim is to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio."

Jade has won $800, courtesy of the PVSF Senior Sportstar of the Month sponsor Penrith Panthers.


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