Hello everyone. This is a guest post from Speedo.
With the Olympics and Paralympics taking the country by storm, 2012 has been a dramatic and exciting year in British Swimming – we may not have come home with any Olympic gold, but this has been a year well worth celebrating. In particular we saw the British public getting really excited about swimming, and this is the kind of buzz that can really help raise the profile of the sport. Hopefully we can look forward to more people hitting their local pools and getting involved in swimming at all levels.
Despite coming home with fewer medals than had been hoped for, the GB Olympic swimming team achieved a record number of finalists; and swimmers such as Rebecca Adlington, Tom Daley, Hannah Miley and Michael Jamieson became household names and some of the most talked about athletes competing in London this summer.
In the Paralympics too we gained some true British heroes to look up to, including Ellie Simmonds who walked away with two much deserved gold medals and a world record for the 400m freestyle that gave the whole country something to be truly proud of.
More recently, British swimmers Francesca Halsall and Jemma Lowe have won Great Britain several medals at the Istanbul World Short Course Championships; and Paralympic swimmer Josef Craig won the 2012 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year after beating his personal best in the 400m freestyle to win Gold this summer.
British Swimming recently released their report on the 2012 Games, which looked into the possible reasons for the so called disappointing performance of the GB Olympic team this year. The report did not highlight any one particular problem, although the organisation’s slow movement to appoint a new head coach after the departure of Dennis Pursley has been criticised by Rebecca Adlington, and Olympic swimming legend Mark Spitz also spoke up to call the review itself “foolish”.
Despite the drama surrounding the performance of the GB Olympic team this year, 2012 has undoubtedly seen a greater awareness of swimming enter the public sphere in a big way, and we’ve seen some real stars come into the fore. If you’ve got swimming fever head over to the Speedo store where you can get Speedo towels, women’s Speedo swimwear and everything else you might need to feel like a pro when you hit your local pool.
With this massive year in sport coming to a close shortly, British swimmers are now looking forward to 2013 – and indeed to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where they will be hoping to come home with as many medals as they can muster. Let’s hope that things keep moving forwards for our team and that more wins are on the horizon.