Q&A with Team GB swimmer Jazz Carlin

21 February 2017 by
First published: 4 March 2017

In our Q&A with Team GB swimmer Jazz Carlin we chatted about Rio, race tactics and inspiring the next generation of athletes.

What was the highlight of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio for you?

It has to be winning my first silver medal – it was such an incredible feeling. It’s really hard to describe your emotions when you realise that you’ve achieved something you’ve always dreamed of, and having my family in the crowd to share it with me was so special.

How did you celebrate becoming a double Olympic silver medallist in Rio?

The finals finished in the pool at 1am and, after doping control, I didn’t get back to the athlete village until 2am, so I didn’t get much celebrating done that night. I went straight to the dining hall and tucked into pizza and ice cream. While I was racing I stuck to my normal healthy diet, so pizza and ice cream felt like a nice treat!

Do you have to follow a strict diet when competing?

I try and keep to my normal balanced diet plan when I’m competing, but I also make sure that I have fuelled enough for my races. We have a nutritionist who plans all our meals and tells us what times of the day we need to eat.

Growing up in a large sporting family, did you always dream of becoming a professional athlete?

I’ve always loved being a part of sport, even from a young age, but I could never have dreamed of going to an Olympics and wining two medals! It still feels so surreal. I’ve always wanted sport to be a part of my life in some way.

What goes through your mind when you’re in the middle of a race?

In my events there are a lot of tactics, so I always have to make sure that I know what’s going on in the race. I try and think of the little things that I’ve worked on in training and stick to my race plan.

Do you feel a lot of pressure when competing on the world stage?

When I compete I tend to put the most pressure on myself, as I know I’ve worked so hard. I just want to swim the race I want to, but I’m mainly filled with nerves and excitement.

Do all the Team GB swimmers hang out together a lot during the Olympics?

All the swimmers tend to stick together during the Olympics, as we all know each other so well. But it’s always nice when all sports come together and you can meet new people and see friends from other sports.

Other than swimming, what other physical activities do you do as part of your training?

Every week I do three weights sessions, two Pilates sessions and one cardio session, which is normally running.

Do you feel that you have a responsibility as a professional athlete to be a role model to children who aspire to follow in your footsteps?

I would love to help inspire more children to strive to achieve their dreams and I do want to help in a positive way. I always want to stay true to myself and to what I believe in.

What would you do on your ideal day off from training or competing?

My ideal day off would be a day spent shopping!

If you hadn’t become a swimmer, what would you be doing now?

I’m very passionate about business and the sporting world, so I would try to bring them both together in some way.

What are you most looking forward to in 2017?

This year, I’m most looking forward to being back racing and competing against the best athletes in the world. There really is no better feeling.

Jazz has been encouraging Brits to get back in the water by teaming up with Yakult UK for the #SwimwithJazz campaign.

Follow Jazz on Twitter at @JazzCarlin