“There aren’t enough words to say how incredible it was to win at London 2012. I had a massive feeling of relief because I’d worked so hard for that moment and it had all come together. It was all a bit of a blur at the time – I remember key moments like stepping into the stadium for the first time and certain events like the 800m, but so much was going on. Nerves and adrenalin were up and down and it wasn’t until I’d finished and could start looking back that I realised how special it was. Any Olympics is incredible but being at home with such a buzz everywhere was so special.

This season is a strange one because, although it’s an Olympic year, I feel slightly less pressure than I have felt in previous years. London had such a big build up and I felt a hell of a lot of responsibility to do the country proud, but this time round I feel more excitement – I want to enjoy the moment and the events, especially as this will definitely be my last Olympics. I don’t see myself going on for another four years unfortunately. I’ve done athletics for such a long time now and I’ve been fortunate enough to go to the best Games of our time. And Rio is going to be amazing too.

I am looking forward to it in a weird way. I am nervous and anxious because everyone raises their game in Olympic year and I have had injury problems and I’m not exactly where I’d like to be at this stage – but it’s where I am and I’ve got to work with it. You never know what is going to happen. It’s an unpredictable and tough event and I am not sure at this stage how everyone else is performing.

People often ask why I chose an event that is so tough, but the truth is that it chose me. I started doing athletics at 10 and tried lots of events and then I met my coach and he was: ‘Oh try the hurdles, try the high jump. Put them all together over two days and you have the heptathlon.’ I didn’t really know what it was and I didn’t particularly like it but I stuck with it and as I started to learn the events I got better and better and then I started to enjoy it a bit more. It’s really tough and sometimes I wonder why I did stick with it, but it worked out OK.

In the heptathlon, although you are competing against others, you are very much against yourself, your times and your personal best so the first thing you do at the finish line is look at that big red Omega clock. You want to know your time and compare it against previous times. Time equals points in my event so its crucial and for that reason I have grown up with Omega as a major part of my life. My progression to ambassadorship was organic – I have worked with Omega for six years now and it is an honour to collaborate with such a special brand and Olympic partner.

Omega watches are beautiful and timeless. I have a few pieces now and my favourites always change. Unsurprisingly my first watch was a stopwatch for training and it took a few years to get to the pieces I have now. At training my coach does most of my timing but it depends what sessions I am doing. If I’m doing interval timing then I will use a watch but my Omegas are just for special occasions.

My life has changed a lot since 2012 and it’s now more important than ever for me to be super organised with my personal time. My son Reggie was born in 2014 and my world now has to be really structured, with my training schedule fitting around Reggie’s needs – he’s already got a beautiful Omega for when he’s older, so that’s one need fulfilled! My family helps a lot and it is a big juggling act but it works well. Life is challenging but I feel complete and there’s not that feeling of needing to rush away and start a family. It’s hard doing both but it’s nice.

Despite all the demands, when I’m competing I have to focus. If I’m at the beginning of a heptathlon starting with the hurdles I’m thinking of technical aspects – driving out of the blocks hard and attacking the first hurdle. I’ll also use the crowd to draw energy because everyone cheering and screaming your name makes you really excited but I don’t think of anything negative, I don’t think about what’s going to happen once I cross the line or what’s happened before.

I have three standout moments in my career. The first was wining the World Championships in 2009. I was returning after three stress fractures in my foot, meaning I missed the Beijing Olympics and I didn’t know if I’d be back and be as good as I was. Winning was unbelievable; it was my first world title. Then there was London 2012 – it was my first Olympics and it was in London.

But last year’s World Championships was different. It was a personal journey coming back after having Reggie. He was only 13 months old and I didn’t expect to win. I was just happy to be there and contending. It was hard leaving Reggie, so to come home with a gold medal and see him and say ‘look what mummy’s won’ was really special.

I’m not sure if I will compete at the World Championships in 2017. It depends how this year goes and what my motivation levels are. I will decide later this year whether I will retire after Rio or come back to London for one more go. Whatever I decide, it will be strange to retire because I’ve been doing athletics for so long. I definitely want to stay involved in some capacity as I am really passionate about sport and what it can give you no matter what walk of life you’re in.

Having Reggie now I see how much I have gained from athletics – not winning medals but on a more personal level. It’s taught me so much in terms of focus, determination and the desire to achieve in all areas of life and that’s something I would love Reggie and all children to experience as well.”