Cherry’s dream to be Roma’s first golden girl
RUGBY SEVENS: If you’d told Roma’s Emilee Cherry three years ago that she’d be on the plane headed for Brazil to try and win Olympic Gold, she would’ve laughed at you.
But her dream of glory on the world’s biggest sporting stage is no laughing matter now, with the teacher-in-training and former touch footy star just a few months away from becoming our first athlete since Darren Thrupp to compete at either a summer Olympics or Paralympics.
Cherry would also be the first female athlete from Roma since Denise Spencer in 1948 to compete at an Olympic event.
However, the 23-year-old told the Western Star she was not letting the occasion get the better of her.
“We got back from France last week and then we go to Darwin for a camp in July and then we leave at the end of July,” he said.
“We go out of Rio for a training camp [to get away from the hype in the Olympic village].
“It’s an unknown factor for us – we’ve had past Olympians talk to us and we’re going to keep it normal.
“[They told us] it’s going to be something we’ve never experienced so we’ve got to be adaptable.”
Cherry and the Australian side are certainly in uncharted territory – rugby has not been played at the Olympics since 1924 and Australia has not won gold in it since 1908.
But regardless of the result, the appearance of sevens at the event was a sign Australian rugby was on the right track.
“We’ve got to believe we can win – if you don’t, you don’t have a chance,” she said.
“We’ve had great media coverage and to be winning the world series and getting well-wishes has been great for it.
“Showcasing our sport is going to grow the game, with that exposure we can attract more fans.”