Check in with ...Nicola Adams
Helping British Airways to celebrate a knockout 100th birthday is Nicola Adams, the Yorkshire lass with the megawatt smile who also happens to be GB's most successful female boxer.
The pro-featherweight fighter has been blazing a trail ever since she became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title at London’s 2012 Summer Olympics. Pulling all the punches to then secure the World, European and Commonwealth titles, as well as another gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, the Leeds-born athlete has put female boxing firmly on the map. all whilst promoting diversity, inclusion and the small but mighty island she calls home.
What has been your favourite travel experience?
On the flight back from the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. The whole plane was just full of Olympians and the gold medalists were all sat in First Class, which was really cool. It was like a party in the sky!
Which country most sticks out in your memory?
Thailand, definitely. At the Elephant Hills Sanctuary in the Khao Sok National Park, they allow you to have natural encounters with these amazing animals. You wash them, feed them, but there's no riding. It was a really breathtaking experience.
Where is on your bucket list and why?
I'd love to go to Fiji. It's supposed to have the most beautiful beaches in the world. I'm very active when I go on holiday; I like to go snorkelling, scuba diving, white water rafting, quad biking, surfing - the works. Sitting still is not for me!
What is your go-to travel hack or packing tip?
I always pack mosquito spray. Guaranteed that if there is a mosquito in the room, it will find me! I also always have a checklist when I’m packing, that way I don’t forget anything.
Where are your favourite places in the UK?
Leeds, because it's where I'm from and it's a lovely city. Everyone is so friendly up in Yorkshire. I also love London for its energy, and have a soft spot for Brighton in the summertime, too.
“In Barbados, we would train on the beach, then jump in the sea. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced.”
What does being British mean to you?
It's about a sense of pride, unity and belonging. I found that out when we had the London Olympics: everybody stands behind you and the amount of support we had was unreal – even if you lose. It also means a really good English breakfast. No matter where you go in the world, it's just not quite the same as it is here!
“I'm very active when I go on holiday; I like to go snorkelling, scuba diving, white water rafting, surfing. Sitting still is not for me!”
Where is your favourite London hangout?
I love The Box, a cabaret nightclub in Soho. There’s also a secret bar in East London that’s quite cool called The Major of Scaredy Cat Town. It looks like a café, but if you knock on a fridge door, they open it up and you can go downstairs into a secret bar.
And for a spot of culture?
The Royal Ballet. My physio used to work at the company, so that's when I starting liking the place. I would see the ballerinas, how hard they worked and how many injuries they had, and was amazed at the way they still fought through it. When you see all that hard work that gets put into one of those performances, it's unbelievable.
What is your favourite global sporting event and why?
It has to be the Olympics, purely because it's the one time in four years that you get to see a variety of different sports that wouldn't normally be televised. It really opens your mind; until I saw it for myself, I didn't even know trampolining was an Olympic sport.
What has boxing in other countries taught you?
I spent some time at a training camp in Russia. The footwork there was unbelievable. The boxers there must have spent hours just doing the same movement backwards and forwards, concentrating on the footwork without throwing any punches. When you see them compete, you notice that kind of footwork. It just shows, if you work on the basics, everything else will follow.
Where is the most unusual place you have boxed?
I can tell you the very best place I've boxed, at the World Amateur Championships in 2010 in Barbados. We would train on the beach, then jump in the sea. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced.