Olympics 2012: Briton oversleeps, still has dream debut

Despite oversleeping, 21-year-old British athlete Jack Oliver still went on to produce his best ever performance.

Reuters August 03, 2012

LONDON: After years of meticulous preparation, tailoring every aspect of your life to focus on one day of competition, imagine waking up on the morning of your Olympic debut to find you'd slept through your alarm clock.

That nightmare became a reality for 21-year-old British athlete Jack Oliver ahead of his weightlifting event.

"I was meant to be up at six o'clock, go downstairs and have a nice pre-weigh-in shower and a bit of a stretch," Oliver said.

"At five past seven I hear a banging on the door, looked at my phone and thought 'I'm in trouble! I'm going to have a very angry coach!'"

Despite the rude awakening, Oliver "got dressed in 30 seconds", managed to catch a later bus to the London ExCel arena and arrived in good time for the pre-competition weigh-in.

Shrugging off the bad start to his day he went on to produce his best ever performance in front of a delighted British crowd.

A nervous looking Oliver failed to complete his first lift in the competition but recovered well to set a new personal best total of 310 kg that included a personal record 170 kg in the clean and jerk - the second of two styles of Olympic lift.

"The extra hour of sleep must have done me good," he said.