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Tokyo 2020: Siobhan-Marie O’Connor explains how British Olympic swimmers were inspired by London |  News News


Team GB swimmers won a record eight medals in Tokyo, including four gold, with Adam Peaty, Tom Dean and Duncan Scott making headlines; Olympic silver medalist Siobhan-Marie O’Connor is a swimming expert and expert for Sky Sports News

Last update: 08/02/21 11:18 am

Adam Peaty and Tom Dean were two of Team GB’s many superstars in Tokyo

Eight medals, including four gold, in Tokyo. It was a dazzling Olympics for the GB team in the pool. We are far from the budget cuts and lackluster returns of London 2012.

Siobhan Marie-O’Connor saw the development of these new pool warriors up close, having made her Olympic debut in London nine years ago, before winning silver at the Rio 2016 Games.

Siobhan, who retired in June at the age of 25 due to ulcerative colitis, has been a regular expert on Sky Sports News screens during the Tokyo Games.

She provides insight into the spark that has sprung from the GB team in Japan and how their success could help inspire a new generation of swimmers …

“Inspire a generation”. The legacy of London 2012 lives on and has kept its promise. Many of the heroes of the GB team who produced the magic in Tokyo were the young children who stood in the stands watching the Olympics at home in 2012.

This is Britain’s best medal total at the Olympics with four gold, three silver and one bronze. Duncan Scott became the first British athlete of all sports to win four medals in a single Games (one gold and three silver).

Tokyo 2020: Siobhan-Marie O’Connor explains how British Olympic swimmers were inspired by London |  News News

James Guy, Peaty, Anna Hopkin and Kathleen Dawson pose with their relay gold medals

World record holder Adam Peaty became the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title in the 100m breaststroke and was also part of the mixed mixed relay team which set a new world record by winning gold in the its inaugural event in Tokyo.

After the incredible world record performance on Saturday, Peaty said, “If you watch now, and you’re a kid, I was the same kid in 2012. Just believe, follow your dreams and you can do what we do. let’s – and I hope we’ll see you back on the team in eight years. “

Adam wasn’t the only swimmer motivated by attending the Olympics at home. In the early hours of Tuesday, 21-year-old Tom Dean became Olympic champion in the 200m freestyle, setting a new British record.

Duncan Scott finished just 0.04 seconds behind him to secure Britain’s first brace in the pool in over a century.

TOKYO 2020

GOLD – Adam Peaty, Men’s 100m breaststroke

GOLD – Tom Dean, men’s 200m freestyle

GOLD – Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay

GOLD – Mixed relay 4x100m medley

SILVER – Duncan Scott, men’s 200m freestyle

SILVER – Duncan Scott, Men’s 200m Individual Medley

SILVER – Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay

BRONZE – Luke Greenbank, 200m backstroke men

Tom was just 12 when he stood alongside his older sister Connie in the stands at the Aquatic Center to watch the London 2012 Olympic Trials in Stratford.

Inspired by what he saw on the road, Tom took to the sport and discovered he had exceptional talent.

After making his first Olympic team in April 2021, Tom posted a photo of himself alongside Connie from that day forward and said: “Nine years after watching the 2012 trials when I started swimming I never thought of running here. “

After his gold medal in Tokyo, Tom was interviewed by London 2012 Olympic champion Greg Rutherford. Greg took to Instagram to reveal how Tom had called him back for a quick chat to tell him, “In London 2012 he loved my win and wanted to replicate it.”

Greg added: “He made me cry and we cried together. When you are an athlete you always hope to have a positive impact on other athletes, but you are rarely told. So that Tom takes the time to chat. even if I had just reached the pinnacle of sport shows what a special human being he is. “

Tokyo 2020: Siobhan-Marie O’Connor explains how British Olympic swimmers were inspired by London |  News News

Dean celebrates his victory in the 200m freestyle ahead of his teammate Duncan Scott

Tom spent the first six years of his career at a small club in his hometown of Maidenhead before being transferred to the Bath National Center in 2018 – one of the centers of excellence for swimming set up to deliver results in London 2012.

It was here that he was coached by Britain’s most decorated Olympic swimming coach, David McNulty. David took Tom under his wing and developed his raw and incredible abilities to the top of the Olympic podium.

The journeys of Tom and Adam are examples of many very similar journeys. Much of the success we had at the Olympic Games in Rio, and even more so now in Tokyo, is attributed to the athletes who were inspired as children and young adolescents.

It wasn’t just the inspiration and the fire in the womb that was provided to Tom and Adam nine years ago. They were also given the means to turn those dreams into reality.

Due to the increase in core funding prior to London 2012, these young hopefuls were given the opportunity to train and develop their talent in brand new world-class training facilities and programs implemented across all sports. , such as national swimming centers.

I had an incredible chance to represent Team GB in London 2012 when I was only 16 years old.

If I hadn’t been able to train at the National Center in Bath when my home training program ended due to cuts during the credit crunch at the age of 14, I wouldn’t have done the home Olympic team, and I don’t think I would have won an Olympic medal in Rio four years later.

I competed in London but felt like a spectator with tickets to the best sporting event in the world.

Tokyo 2020: Siobhan-Marie O’Connor explains how British Olympic swimmers were inspired by London |  News News

Peaty revealed how her swimming dreams started in London in 2012

The passion in which this experience ignited in me was fierce. I vividly remember sitting in the stands watching the swim finals and promising myself that one day I would be on the podium.

London 2012 inspired a generation of athletes and gave them the platform and the tools to perform.

I’m sure there will be plenty of kids sitting at home watching the action in Tokyo watching their heroes in awe, but in 10 years it could be them.

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