While being interviewed for FIFA.com in the Athletes’ Village, Great Britain defender Alex Scott could look out of the window and see the area of London she grew up in. Much has changed in the 27 years since her birth, most notably the land which now houses the Olympic Park.
“It’s been amazing to see the development of the whole area thanks to Olympics,” she said. “It feels like I’m on a different planet to the Stratford I knew growing up! It’s completely changed, it’s so different.
“I was brought up by my mum just five minutes away and at that time not much was going on in the area. Growing up, I always wanted more. I wanted to get out, as I knew that there was something better out there for me. My way to do that was through my love of sport. It’s taken me to countries and made me experience things which I never thought that I would see as a child. My determination and my hard work has got me there. I’m just grateful for every opportunity that comes my way."
Scott, who is helping to give teenage girls a chance in the game with the foundation of her Academy for 16-19 year olds in south west London, has returned to her old east London stomping ground as Team GB prepare to face Brazil on Tuesday.
“It’s been great to come back into the village now, and experience the atmosphere together,” she continued. “Obviously we’ve been in Cardiff so we haven’t really had the chance. It’s been great to share the Olympics with thousands of other athletes and experience the events going on. We’ve all had our individual journeys but they’ve all led to this place at this time. It’s truly amazing.
“You can really get lost in it all. When you go to the dining room you’re asked to sit on the blue seats and eat with the other members of the Team GB squad, so you have different conversations and a different routine than what you would usually have within the ‘bubble’ of your own squad. Obviously we’ve been in Cardiff for a while, so it’s been nice to pop back to the Village and really live the Team GB experience.”
The game against Marta and Co takes place in Wembley. Despite 90 caps for her country, Scott has never played in England’s national stadium, a fact not lost on the Arsenal right-back.
“When we went to the game on Sunday to watch the men, most of us were just sitting there and thinking: ‘Wow, we’re going to be playing here on Tuesday in front of our own fans,’” she continued. “That’s when it really hit us. We’re really excited. We can’t wait to get out there.”
There was also another added bonus for Hope Powell’s squad during the match, as they had the opportunity to bump into a few star names!
“We met Prince William, David Beckham and Roy Hodgson which was great for all of us,” she smiled. “The highlight? It had to be Beckham! We all got photos with him and he spoke to us. He said that he’d watched the first two games and we’d done really well. He also told us that we should enjoy the experience, but mainly just enjoy playing and take time to remember it all. We’ll be taking that advice on board.”