Nikita Parris says it is “massive” that she is ready to follow in her sister Natasha Jonas’ footsteps by representing Great Britain at the Olympics, describing the boxer as “a true inspiration”.
London 2012 saw Jonas make history as the first British female fighter to compete in the Olympics.
Parris, the Lyon striker who has scored 14 goals in 52 appearances for England, is among 18 GB players for the Tokyo Games this summer.
The 27-year-old said: “It’s a huge moment. To be selected for any major tournament is a great achievement, but the GB team is special because four nations make up a squad of 18. It doesn’t is not an easy team to choose.
“And going to the Olympics is amazing, a dream. In 2012 I watched it, in 2016 I also watched it, and now I can be part of it in 2021.
“In 2012, I watched my sister at the Olympics. Watching my sister in a GB team and then being selected for a GB team is huge. It’s a really nice experience for us as sisters, we are in it. as a family.
“She really created a legacy by going to the Olympics in 2012. She was the first woman to be positioned in the boxing ring for British women.
“I think it’s huge and she’s a real inspiration. At 36, she’s still competing in professional boxing, in great shape and doing really well.”
When asked if Jonas could have given a lot of advice, Parris replied: “Yeah a lot!”
Parris is joined in Hege Riise’s squad by a quintet that played in Hope Powell’s GB squad in London 2012, which reached the quarter-finals – England’s Karen Bardsley, Steph Houghton, Jill Scott and Ellen White and the Scottish Kim Little.
“The girls shared their experiences,” Parris said.
“We had a few conversations and I’m sure there will be a lot more conversations during the tournament – figuring out how to deal with the expectations, the pressures, understanding what the game is all about, and ultimately really pushing from 2012 and really pushing for it. these medals.
“At the end of the day, we want gold and 2012 never delivered it.
Parris was not involved in England’s opener under interim boss Riise, February’s friendly against Northern Ireland, with the Norwegian claiming Lyon were unwilling to release the player in due to the coronavirus regulations.
Parris was then initially unable to make the Lionesses squad for the April friendlies against France and Canada following cases of Covid-19 in Lyon, before being subsequently tested negative and cleared to rejoin.
“At the last camp in England I was able to work with her on an individual basis and really understand her as a person and what she expects as a coach,” Parris said of Riise, who has won Olympic gold as a Norwegian player. and Deputy Chief of the United States.
“It’s been good and I understand what the GB team want out of this tournament and it’s a gold medal. Everyone wants to win so that’s the goal.”