Aimee Willmott is one of the GLL Sport Foundation Ambassadors who has her sights set on competing at Rio. The London 2012 Olympic legacy has really helped many athletes stay motivated until 2016, and Aimee is no exception.
The London Aquatic Centre might be a remnant of a previous Olympics, but it is still a busy centre run by GLL and open to the public. It is regularly used by Willmott and the rest of British Swimming’s high-performance group based in East London, and is a daily reminder of why those early-morning training sessions and late-night gym workouts are worth it.
In less than six months’ time, the Rio Olympics will be underway, and having experienced the magic of competing in London, Willmott is determined to ensure she gives everything in order to sample another Olympic venue in Brazil.
“I know how lucky I am to be based here,” said Willmott, who left her native Middlesbrough in 2014 to relocate to the capital. “Every now and then, you’ll get one of those days when you’re feeling rubbish or when you have to pretty much drag yourself out of bed to get to training.”
“But then you’ll see the Olympic pool and all the excitement and adrenaline will come rushing back. It’s not like you think about 2012 every day, but every so often, something will happen – maybe the sight of something in the changing room or a shout when you’re walking towards the pool – and it will all come rushing back.”
Willmott made the semi-finals of the 400m Individual Medley in London, narrowly missing out on a place in the final when she finished 11th overall.
Since then, she has won two silver medals and a bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and made her first world final, finishing seventh in the 400IM at last year’s World Championships in Russia.
“The GLL Sport Foundation provides great support for talented athletes and I myself have benefited from this. The support from the GSF is amazing, as having another team believe in my potential is really encouraging. The monetary funding this year has allowed me to recently compete in France in a very international competition, which I learnt a lot from. The funding and support continues to help with all aspects of training and I thank them for all their help.”