Jazz Carlin is preparing to make history.
The 27-year-old will travel to Tokyo 2020 with the ambition of becoming the first female swimmer to win open water and pool medals at the same Games.
After winning silver in the 400m and 800m freestyle pool events at Rio 2016, Carlin has now returned from an extended break revitalised by her next challenge.
She said: “I definitely think open water has added a new spark to my life. It was tough after Rio. When you’ve trained for something for so long, it’s hard when it’s over.
“The older you get the more you want to challenge yourself. It is really exciting and I’m looking forward to the next few years learning more about the discipline.”
Transitioning from the pool has been difficult for the Welsh swimmer, who now has to train for the demands of the 10km distance and swimming in close proximity to her competition.
Following an 11th place finish in the Marathon Swimming World Cup back in October, Carlin remains eager to improve.
She said: “It is all about learning. I’m a bit of an amateur now and I need to learn how to get the best out of my races.
“The experience I get in the next couple of years will be vital. It is something completely fresh and new.”
And in January, Carlin will be challenging others to try something new too.
She will take part in the #SwimWithJazz campaign by coaching four adults as they learn to swim in just four weeks.
According to a survey commissioned by campaign organisers Yakult, which polled 2,000 UK adults, more than 20% of people older than 55 are unable to swim, with almost half believing it is too late to try.
Carlin was fortunate enough to be introduced to swimming at an early age by her father, and is setting out to help others become more confident in the water.
She said: “For me, swimming has always been such a huge part of my life from a young age and it’s hard to hear that so many people aren’t able to swim or haven’t had the chance to learn.
“I’d love to see them enjoy being in the pool. I’m so passionate about swimming and to see more people enjoying it would make me very happy.”
She will hope to draw on her experience of learning to compete in open water to help the lucky four to develop a new skill.
Over the past few years, Carlin has also helped her Mum become more comfortable in the water and now better understands how nerves can prevent people from trying new things.
She added: “The older I’ve got, the more I’ve found myself doing things that felt easy when I was younger.
“Someone once told me that fear is just a feeling, it’s not actually real. Once you get over that feeling of nerves, it gets a lot easier.”
For your chance to learn to swim with Jazz Carlin , visit www.yakult.co.uk/swim
- 10000Women-only swimming lessons are proving to be a great success in Morden. Fitness company Sunnah Sports have teamed up with Better Gym and Morden community centre to offer weekly swimming session just for women. Safwan Gaskin, 33, is the founder of Sunnah Sports and is passionate about connecting cultures through…
- 10000Double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington believes the performances of British swimmers at May’s European Aquatics Championships in London will inspire a whole generation of new competitors. Adlington won gold in the 400m and 800m at the Beijing Olympic Games, before winning two bronze medals in the same events at…