At the Berlin World Cup two weeks ago I shared a room with Emily Nelson. I was also sharing with the person who narrates Emily’s existence out loud who, for budgetary reasons, is also Emily Nelson.
Our first time rooming together was back in 2015 on a training camp in Valencia.
She was on the under-23 Academy at the time and I was on Podium (the gimmicky name for the senior GB team that through everyday use I’ve forgotten is a bit gimmicky and now use without irony) but when riders from each squad chose who they wanted to share a room with, no one chose me or Emily and so we ended up together.
I thought this was a cute shared experience — for us both to be the rejects of our respective teams — that would instantly bond our friendship.
Emily thought that since both teams were made of odd numbers we weren’t rejects at all, just the last two people to enter the hotel. She was wrong of course. We weren’t the last two people to enter the hotel because there was me, there was Emily, and there was the voice telling me that Emily’s bag was really heavy and wondering what time dinner was and saying that Emily probably wouldn’t bother unpacking but that she hoped it was good weather so she could wear shorts and 52 other observations.
I said dinner was at 7pm and patted my bag to check my noise – cancelling headphones were still in there.
That was well over three years ago. Now we’re not just friends through shared rejection but Podium team-mates and world Madison champions together.
A friendship that involves matching rainbow onesies is, as you can imagine, a very strong one. I still get on far better with Emily than with her narrator, although I have accepted that they come as a pair, even on occasion confusing one with the other. For example I can’t remember which one kept bugging me to write a CW article about them. It must have been her narrator; Emily Nelson herself is surely smart enough to realise that could only end in tears.