IT'S THE biggest party in the world for a girl from Crookwell and Emily Smith will get the birthday celebrations of a lifetime when she makes the giant leap from local pub to the Olympic Games today.
Smith celebrated her 20th birthday with millions, making a ''pretty awesome present'' as the humble and quiet girl soaks up the electric atmosphere engulfing London.
Instead of having a meal at one of Crookwell's three pubs, Smith will be on the grandest stage in world sport as she exits her teen years.
The London Games started with a bang as athletes marched and 80,000 fans partied at the spectacular opening ceremony.
Smith and her Hockeyroos teammates decided not to march to prepare for the opening match of their medal campaign, instead saving their partying for the closing ceremony.
The 20-year-old is still coming to grips with her 18-month rise from the grass fields at Crookwell, her home town, to the Olympic precinct.
''I never thought I'd be here for my birthday, I'd probably be at the local pub because that's where everyone hangs out on the weekend,'' Smith said.
''But I'm not complaining I'm here; this is a pretty awesome birthday present.
''I always seem to have my birthday on hockey trips and I was pretty excited to have my birthday at home this year.
''Crookwell has one roundabout and three pubs but this is like the biggest party in the world.''
Smith is the youngest member of the Hockeyroos squad, but her goal-scoring prowess will be crucial as the team chases a medal.
Crookwell is following her every step. Before she left home she was too nervous to walk down the main street as shops decorated their windows with her photos. The community raised almost $12,000 to help send her parents Venetta and Ashley to the Games and two of her sisters and boyfriend will join them in the crowd.
But ask her about nerves or stage fright and Smith is as cool as they come.
''Everyone knows everyone in Crookwell … I'm pretty nervous and as the first game gets closer I'm getting a bit more nervous,'' Smith said.
''But once I get on the field I think I will be fine … going past the big crowds and everyone yelling your name will be interesting, this is my first big tournament and I've never really played in front of much of a crowd before.
''There's a bit of pressure because everyone from home and my family will be watching … let's just hope I get the first goal out of the way.''
There's only one problem with having your birthday during a hockey tournament: Smith says you have to put up with horrible singing from your teammates.
The Hockeyroos begin their tournament against New Zealand, but before they aim for a first-up win, Canberra's Anna Flanagan said the team had to deliver Smith a ice-cream cake.
''We always have cake … it's going to be an ice cream and because we don't have a freezer we might have to eat it all at once,'' Flanagan said.
''Our happy birthday songs are pretty famous for being so awful so we'll definitely treat her to that.''