Rio Olympics 2016: Maddie Hinch on why GB women can win hockey gold

Great Britain's women's hockey players are just one match away from winning gold and take on defending champions the Netherlands in the Olympic final at 21:00 BST, live on BBC One. In her latest BBC Sport column, goalkeeper Maddie Hinch says that they will not be satisfied with coming second...

'A silver medal is not enough - we want the gold'

We're guaranteed an Olympic medal, but we're not ready to congratulate ourselves yet. You will have heard us in the huddle after the semi-final and the message is clear. We've got one more game. We're not finished yet.

The win over New Zealand in the semi-final was rather surreal. It was brilliant to keep our momentum and our form. We've got better throughout the tournament and did so again in that game.

Waking up the next morning, the idea of already having a medal secured didn't even cross my mind. After every game we've had the same process, the same plan, and that'll be the same going into the final. We've done the same thing every single day and, honestly, I'm not sure what day it is anymore. All I know is Lily Owsley is making our flat more untidy every day.

Alex Danson and Lily Owsley
Alex Danson (left), who scored twice in the semi-final against New Zealand, celebrates with Maddie Hinch's "untidy" room-mate Lily Owsley

We enjoyed celebrating after the semi-final but we're not about to sit on our laurels or think it's enough. In the form we're in and the way we've performed, we want the gold even more. We want to show what we are about, and the fact we've played well means we are confident. We have no fear and we're excited about how we can play.

Our processes have been so important to our success. Look at the semi-final, it would have been easy to just go off with friends and family and get caught up with the emotion, but we got our heads down, went straight to the ice baths, did our debrief and analysed the moments when we could have done better.

Straight away we were on to the next game - not because it's a final but because it's what we always do.

One of the things that has been so important is that every single player has contributed. We knew beforehand - get everyone playing at their best and we'd be unstoppable. In other tournaments we've not all been on it, but here we've come together. It's not been down to one player; we've all contributed.

In the past couple of games we've defended so well that it's been relatively quiet for me at the back and it's been good to watch. This team is so tight and we're in such a confident place, we're looking forward to playing and are excited to get people picking up a hockey stick.

One of our press team was telling me about a video sent in to Bisham Abbey of a girl watching us on TV and picking up a stick at 22 months old. Even if we hadn't done well, we wanted to achieve our team vision: be the difference, create history and inspire the future.

We've done all of those things and medals are a bonus. To think we're getting people into our sport gives us real pride.

'Being around other British athletes has been inspirational'

Maddie Hinch making a save in the semi-final against New Zealand
Maddie Hinch dives full length to keep out New Zealand's Olivia Merry during the semi-final

Being part of Team GB has been epic, especially with the nation doing so well and reaching UK Sport's medal target. Their funding is so important and cannot be overestimated. Team GB are sitting second in the medal table and it is already our most successful away games ever.

Being around the other British athletes has been inspirational, and so many other Brits are behind us. We're buzzing off the support.

You might have seen that we're under a self-imposed break from social media which is a decision we made unanimously as a squad. The chance of winning Olympic gold only comes once every four years and we wanted to minimise potential distractions and be fully focused on the task at hand. Based on results so far you'd have to say it was a good decision.

The fact we made the decision as a team shows the strength of the group and our culture. It's enabled us to exist in a bubble, although we're still in touch with friends and family so we're getting feedback on how much support is out there.

I'm missing social media, don't get me wrong and I reckon Susannah Townsend will be missing it the most. In terms of getting more interest on social media, I always said if we play well, it will come.

'Putting our bodies on the line'

Maddie Hinch and an injured Crista Cullen
Maddie Hinch checks over Crista Cullen after she suffered a cut to the forehead during the semi-final win over New Zealand

Crista Cullen and Georgie Twigg took knocks in the semi-final, putting their bodies on the line for the team. I'm sure it showed the public how brave they are. We've got incredible athletes and their desire to earn success for Team GB is immense.

At the top level the game is tough, but if you want to play socially you don't need to be built like Crista and Georgie, believe me. We've got all types of athletes in our team, and one of the great things about hockey is that it's open to people of all sizes.

Some sports you need to be tall, some sports you need to be tiny, but hockey is open to all types. Crista is the ultimate athlete and a defender, there's me in goal, different sizes in midfield and up front - it's open to everyone who wants to pick up a stick. And if you like the padding, get in goal like I did.

It's hard to believe I got my 100th international cap out here, and it was amazing to do it at an Olympics with my parents watching. I only had eight caps when I became number one in 2013, so it's been a mad journey and I'm so grateful to the coaches for their faith in me. It was a special moment, I have to say. I've just got another 260 or so games to catch Kate Richardson-Walsh.

Now we look forward to the final with a really good feeling. We've got no fear, we've won seven in seven and we take confidence from that. We're facing a Dutch team looking for a third consecutive gold, and this stage is what dreams are made of. It's giving me goosebumps thinking about it.

We will give it our all. Let's see what happens.

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