As Rebecca Adlington prepares to rewrite the record books, she tells Our Greatest Team magazine about the buzz of a home crowd…
Rebecca Adlington was famously given a pair of Jimmy Choos by the Mayor of Mansfield after her winning exploits at the Beijing Olympic Games four years ago, but she didn’t need them to walk tall. She’d just become the first British woman in 48 years to win an Olympic Swimming gold, broken American Janet Evans’ 19-year-old world record in the 800m Freestyle final, and was the first Briton in precisely 100 years to collect two gold medals in the pool.
Amazingly, if she successfully defends either of her 400m and 800m Freestyle titles at London 2012, she’ll rewrite the record books yet again by becoming the first British swimmer to retain an Olympic title. And the good news is, with the form she exhibited in the Olympic qualifiers earlier this year, that’s a very realistic goal.
But despite Adlington’s stunning form, she’s under no illusions that there are still plenty of obstacles in her way. Ironically, one of them is the negative aspect of competing at a home venue – namely, the weight of expectation.
‘During the London Olympics we’re all [Team GB] going to feel the pressure and we’re all going to be in the spotlight,’ she says. ‘Obviously “doing it again” is there in the back of my mind, but I don’t think about it too much because I have to focus on the present.’
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