Q&A

Favourite event:
Has to be the 400m Freestyle. The 400m Freestyle is not a total sprint or an endurance event so it’s the perfect distance for me. I love competing in the 4×200m Freestyle Relay too.

Finest Ever Performance/Why:
I have two. Breaking the 400m Freestyle world record in Sheffield in 2009 and also winning my bronze medal in the same event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

First senior international meet:
World Championships 2003 Barcelona

Role models:
People like Lance Armstrong and Steve Redgrave who have both achieved so much in their lives despite going through some bad times.

My aspirations are:
To continue to go from strength to strength and still perform well.

Tip for the top:
Always try your best and be happy.

Life away from swimming:
I really enjoy going shopping (I love topshop) or going out for dinner. I love food so going out for dinner and trying different things is my ideal night. I don’t live at home any more so I also love going back to Yorkshire some weekends to see my family and friends. I love my mum’s cooking too, so a Sunday roast always goes down well!

Favorite City:
I’m really lucky to have visited so many places and loved them all. One of my favorites is Melbourne which I love. There’s so much to do and the weather was really lovely when I was there. One city I have never been to is New York and it’s a dream to go there. It looks such a cool place with all the shops (!!) and attractions look fab. Hopefully one day I’ll manage to get there!

Best weekend away:
I really enjoy going to London and seeing a show. I can’t do it very often but love to when I have a long weekend off. I’ll normally manage to get a bit of shopping in on Oxford Street then go to the theatre.

Life after swimming:
After I’ve finished swimming I would love to set up my own swim school and teach other people everything I’ve learnt over the years.

Music:
Dance and R’n’B, depends on my mood. Anything really except classical.

If I wasn’t a swimmer I would be a:
Teacher. I would have gone to University and probably gone into something like teaching.

Football, Cricket or Rugby:
Football. It’s the only one that I understand. I can explain the offside rule if you like?! My family support Manchester United.

Describe yourself in three words:
Happy / Dedicated / Relaxed.

Would most like to meet:
David Beckham, he is such a great footballer!

Most prized possession:
My Olympic bronze medal or my world record certificate.

Biggest influence on career:
My previous coach Dave McNulty was a major influence on me, he coached me for 8 years before I moved to Loughborough. He really believed in me and taught me so much. He was a great coach. Also my sister Nicola has also been a huge influence.

Sporting relations:
Nicola Jackson my sister swam in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and also won a gold medal at the World Championships in 2001 as part of the 4×200m Freestyle Relay team. She retired in 2005 I think. I’ve tried to get her back competing but she is having none of it!