Gemma Spofforth took up swimming at a local pool in Bognor Regis and might have not been in London at all had she decided against accepting a scholarship at the University of Florida, aged 18. In 2008, she finished fourth by 0.04seconds in the 100m backstroke final on her Olympic debut in Beijing. In 2009 Spofforth won world gold in a world record time of 58.12seconds.In 2011 she contemplated quitting after failing to make a final at the worlds that year. And had Spofforth not won the 100m backstroke at the Olympics trials to book herself a swim at London 2012 she would have retired there and then. Spofforth is trained in crisis intervention and suicidology and gave up chocolate in the build-up to the Olympics.
Spofforth calls it a day
Halsall misses out on medal
Spofforth, Tancock and Renwick miss out