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Northern Ireland archer's note to self... in my mind I'm already the champion

By Staff Reporters

Published 06/08/2016

Patrick Huston reading the motivational letter he penned to himself
Patrick Huston reading the motivational letter he penned to himself
Patrick Huston

An Olympic archer from Northern Ireland has inadvertently revealed the handwritten words of inspiration that stiffen his resolve to triumph as he battles for a gold medal in Rio.

In an unguarded moment, Team GB gold medal hopeful Patrick Huston, from Belfast, was photographed as he scanned his handwritten motivational crib sheet, the opening sentence of which read: "I am the 2016 Olympic champion."

On the memo to self, post-dated August 12, 2016, Patrick sends himself a stirring message of commitment and dedication to sporting excellence.

"I am the 2016 Olympic Champion," Huston tells himself.

"I have taken a big step in being the best archer in the world.

"I love being recognised as a great archer.

"I inspire the next generation,

"I grow the sport I love.

"I continue to enjoy the life of a professional archer.

"I am the 2016 Olympic Champion."

Although born and bred in Belfast, the former Campbell College pupil now lives in Telford, Shropshire, where he has been training with the Olympic Squad at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in preparation for this year's Olympics.

He is three-time world champion archer at junior level and in October 2013 won the Individual Cadet World Championship title at the World Youth Championships in Wuxi in China.

Huston is also the proud owner of a gold medal after winning the Cadet Mixed Team Gold with team-mate Rebecca Martin.

Huston (20), who trains at East Belfast Archery Club, was among the first to compete at the Rio Olympics.

But after coming 38th out of 64 in the yesterday's qualifying round, he now faces a climb as steep as Rio's Sugarloaf Mountain if he is to be among this year's medal-winners.

"Realistically I am rather disappointed," he said yesterday.

" I didn't perform quite to the standard I would have liked to have been able to but I think I have an idea what it is.

"This bit was just for fun, the bit that actually means something and has medals at the end of it is yet to come and that is what I do really well at.

"Finishing 38th out of 64 is not appalling but it wasn't the target I had set myself.

"I wanted to definitely be top-20, preferably top 10."

Huston, who will next face Rick Van Der Ven of the Netherlands on Wednesday, was hoping to sport a quirky hairdo in the absence of his flat cap.

Sadly though, the Olympic Village's beauty salon didn't have the tools to shave a Union Flag into the side of his head before the competition got under way.

But regardless of not having a distinctive appearance, the world number 38 is confident his archery will speak for itself.

As Huston mentally prepares himself for the competition of a lifetime, Dame Mary Peters and boxer Paddy Barnes have been named in a survey as Northern Ireland's most inspiring Olympians.

The 1972 Pentathlon gold medal-winner and the north Belfast fighter who has won two Olympic bronzes were among the top athletes people could relate to, according to a study ahead of the opening ceremony in Brazil.

The survey of more than 700 Northern Ireland people also showed female Olympians Peters (68%); former Irish athlete Sonia O'Sullivan (12%) and boxer Katie Taylor (12%) were the most popular Olympians of all time.

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