Tonia Couch content to cast aside the past
If anyone was able to bottle and then sell on Tonia Couch's sunny disposition a fortune awaits and a world much improved in one fell swoop.
Plymouth's Olympian has such a forgiving nature that it is easy to lose sight of the fact she is the finest international female diver Great Britain has produced.
Plymothians will have a rare treat at the Life Centre today, when Couch puts her skill and coolness to the test at the British Gas National Diving Championships at the Life Centre. Fans will get to see how, beneath her model good looks, lies a steely resolve and determination to get to the top, as back-to-back Olympic appearances for Team GB show.
Back in 2008, she made her Olympic debut in Beijing, where she competed for Britain in both the 10m individual and synchro events.
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The GB selectors again turned to Couch for last year's London Games, but vexingly only in the synchro, where she finished fifth with her friend and Plymouth Diving team-mate, Sarah Barrow.
Couch was overlooked for the individual slot by GB performance director Alexei Evangulov, which in turn prompted an angry legal protest from Plymouth's GB coach, Andy Banks.
The normally laconic Banks' sense of outrage on behalf of his diver was matched by fair-minded sports fans, not least in his adopted and her home city.
It proved all to no avail, but Banks' brave stance prompted plenty of Plymothians to sign up and protest on Couch's behalf in a petition campaign.
The moral victory belonged to Couch and Bank, but on a technical point the Russian-born British diving tsar came out on top. But, if you tried to ruffle the 23-year-old's feathers by reminding her of the incident, then as now you would be ruffling in vain.
The sweet-natured Couch does not enjoy confrontations and, consequently, is as quick to forgive, or at least publicly forget, the snub.
"It was a year of ups and downs" was all that Couch would say when asked about the omission, which probably cost her the chance of winning an individual medal to match Plymouth and GB team-mate Tom Daley's own Olympic bronze gong.
"As well as competing in the Olympics, it was a great year. Sarah and me became European champions and we also won a bronze medal at the [FINA] World Cup.
"Although there's no Olympics this year, there are still lots of events that I'll need to make sure I'm able to do well in," she added.
"You can't afford to stand still in any sport these days, as there are lots of really good divers around at the moment.
"I'm hoping to compete at the next Olympics in Rio, so our training programme at Plymouth Diving is pretty much 24/7."
Today's competition on the high-board should be fascinating. Couch came second last year and would dearly love to top the podium in front of a home crowd at a venue that her success over the years helped to inspire.
"It's going to be fantastic competing at the Life Centre, which we all think is better than anywhere in the UK," said Couch, who with Barrow and Banks has appeared on the Daley vehicle – Splash! – on prime-time television.
"The British champs will be the biggest event we've ever hosted since the Life Centre opened last spring so, of course, it's important that our club does well.
"That means me, too. I've never really done as well as I think I should have done in the nationals over the years," Couch added.
"I'm going to want to put that right this year, but there will be plenty of competition for those medals.
"As far as looking back and worrying about things I can't fix now, you know I won't do that."