Georgia is a Welsh competitive swimmer who made her debut in the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and went on to represent Great Britain in the 2012 Olympic Games. She speaks to Sundried about training, racing, and everything in between.
Have you always been into sport? How did you first get into swimming?
I have always been sporty. At school, I participated in all different sports and my favourites were netball, gymnastics, swimming, and surf lifesaving.
Did you know you wanted to strive for Olympic standard from an early age?
I think that going to the Olympics was always a dream of mine and I’ve always been so competitive, but I tried to keep my goals realistic and attainable, so initially my goal was to reach national level, then continue to move the goalpost once I reached each target.
What does a typical training week look like for you?
Most weeks I swim ten times completing roughly 40km each week. I also do two or three weights sessions to improve my strength, a core session and a Pilates session. Within the week I will also have a check-up with the physio and a massage to try and keep niggles away.
Do you follow a specific diet? If so, what/when do you eat?
With the amount that I train, I can have a bit of freedom with what I eat because I need to consume plenty of calories. But I do try to eat mostly healthy options predominantly high protein and lots of salads and vegetables. The amount of carbs that I eat depends on the kind of session I have coming up later that day and how much energy I need.
How did it feel competing in the Olympics?
I was so lucky to compete at the London Olympics and be supported by the home crowd. It’s one of the only races that I can remember being able to hear the crowd cheering while I was still underwater! Becoming an Olympian is something I always aspired to achieve, and the whole experience of a multi sport event representing GB is awesome. However, I’m always my toughest critic, and so far I’m yet to perform as well as I would like at the Olympics, so I still have plenty to motivate me in training every day.
What has been the highlight of your swimming career so far?
So far I think I have two highlights. First was winning the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and being able to sing the Welsh national anthem and hearing so many people in the crowd sing along too. The second highlight is winning the European championships and breaking the European record in the 50m backstroke. It was a goal that I was hoping to achieve for around the past four years, so when I finally did it I was ecstatic.
What has been your toughest setback and how did you overcome it?
The hardest part about elite sport is dealing with injury or illness and trying to manage your body well in order to overcome the problem and bounce back stronger. It’s also hard to deal with the fact that you can only control your own performance and sometimes even when you give your best it’s still not enough to win. However, having disappointing performances is an important motivator.
What advice would you give to other women looking to get into competitive sport?
As cliche as it sounds, finding a sport that you enjoy is definitely the most important thing. There are so many options out there, and there is no point forcing your body to do something that you hate all the time. The amazing feeling you get from training and pushing yourself is so hard to replicate, and the feeling that you get when you achieve your personal goal or target after dedicating your time and energy in to something is irreplaceable.