My name is Nicola Adam. With no ‘S’. Just saying. Pic by @jabberingjourno
I’m not saying she stole my identity exactly (or maybe I am).
And I don’t begrudge her haul of Olympic gold medals (well I wouldn’t have minded a few.)
Plus I’m sure she’s a lovely person (who I have no desire to pick a fight with…)
But that Nicola Adams bird.. grrrrr.
Her emotional moments of personal and national glory on the Olympic gold medal boxing podium coincided exactly with the loss of my online identity and the complete inability of strangers to spell or say my name. (no S, no S!)
Lovely girl that I am (I hardly ever hit anyone unlike the other), I try not to be bitter when young girls accidently tweet me telling me I am their athletic inspiration.
I occasionally hope these messages are for me but cursory inspections of my arms reveal fewer hard muscles, more soft noodles – and deep fried ones at that. So my search engine ranking is obliterated (don’t bother) and my well of pithy replies to Nicola Adams jokes is not so much dry as parched as the Sahara. (No, I won’t punch you – or maybe I will.)
What is a girl to do?
I could change my name – though the thing is I’m quite attached to it.
Let’s face it, I probably wouldn’t have chosen it but you get quite partial to the moniker that was stuck above your peg in primary school, sewn into your PE socks, written multiple times on your pencil case (Nicola hearts…) and shouted in full and at several decibels by your mother when you had been less than good.
It was the alphabetical superiority of my surname that ensured I was always sitting in the front row at school and forced to be register monitor and the dispenser of books.
I was first in line for terrifying immunisation injections, for French oral examinations, and first to fall up the steps when I collected my degree (which was sadly not a first).
But believe me, I’ve paid my dues to earn the surname Adam.
I may not have scooped an Olympic medal, but I was first.
And I’ve evolved through many variations of my forename over time (Nikki with an I, Nicky with a y, Nikki with a little heart over the first I, Nic, Nix and Nickers – thanks little bro) but the fact remains my name is Nicola Adam (no S) – and I don’t box. I have a few boxes, but not the same.
And while my bouts remain mainly verbal and via email and with members of the public, politicians and members of the journalistic profession, I am unlikely to leapfrog her Olympic highness in the popularity or celebrity stakes.
Plus, let’s face it, who I am to argue with a woman who can knock you out with a light punch.
So when my athletically talented namesake jumps in the ring to no doubt make history and become famous within the Commonwealth (again) on Saturday, remember little old me.
I may not fight but I have fighting talk.
And I have a gold star in handing out books.
Just don’t Google me.