Straight off the ending of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, we're all still feeling the buzz. Team Pocket had the opportunity to catch up with the inspiring female athlete and Olympic Champion of the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay, Anna Hopkin. We chat about her background in swimming, her time in the Olympics and how she felt being a part of Team GB.
At what age did you start swimming, and did you always know you wanted to swim competitively?
I joined my first club at 8 and started competing at 9 but I also competed in many other sports and was very sporty in general so didn’t know I would end up focusing on swimming.
How often do you train and how did you get to try out for Team GB?
I swim 9x a week, gym 3x a week, circuit 1x and pilates 1x a week. In order to qualify for the Olympics I had to finish top 2 in my events at the British Olympic trials and go under the consideration time for the Olympics. I finished 1st in the 50 and 2nd in the 100 free.
What is an average day like for an Olympic swimmer, can you talk us through your routine?
Most days we train about 7-9 in the morning and will do stretching an activation beforehand, then we do gym after swim for about an hour then I go back to recover and refuel before swimming again for 2 hours in the afternoon.
What was the feeling like when you knew you had qualified for a position in Team GB Tokyo 2020?
My emotions were a mixture of excitement, nerves and also relief that I had achieved something I had worked so hard for.
We have all seen snippets of coverage on the TV but what was the atmosphere and feeling like in the Olympic village?
The atmosphere was amazing, I think due to the uncertainty surrounding the games everyone was just excited to actually be there and be able to compete. There were a lot of restrictions to ensure the safety of the athletes, but it didn’t detract from the buzz around the village.
What emotions and thoughts were running through your mind when you walked out to the pool to compete in your first Olympic race?
I think there were some nerves there but mainly excitement, after waiting an extra year to compete at the Olympics, to finally be able to walk out to the arena and race was amazing.
Following on from the above how does it feel to now be an Olympic Champion?
It still feels completely surreal, I’m not sure its completely sunk in yet. Its beyond anything I expected, and I feel so lucky to have been part of such an incredible team.
For anyone who dreams of competing in the Olympics, what advice would you give them?
Nobody’s journey is the same and there is no point comparing yourself to anybody else, so long as you are honest with your goals and a plan of how to get there and you enjoy the journey and the process you can never fail. Don’t put limits on what you can achieve and be open to learning and growing and grab any opportunity to learn that comes your way.
Finally, we like to ask what are your essentials that you’ll find in your pocket? (This can be your kit bag, pocket, purse etc)
We have teamed up with Dr Maja Schaedel, Clinical Psychologist & Co-founder of The Good Sleep Clinic to answer all of our sleep questions, and let us know why it so important, and what it has to do with our physical health.
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