Record after record, time after time – Adam Peaty just continues to get better with experience. The 23-year-old British swimmer, born and raised in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, developed a phobia of water as a child after older brothers Richard and Jamie instilled him in fear of sharks coming through the bath plug.
With that in mind, it makes all his achievements to now even more astonishing especially as he only took up the sport seriously as a 17-year-old. Since then, he became only the third Briton after David Wilkie and Rebecca Adlington to win gold medals in all four major international events, including 100m breaststroke at the 2016 Olympics.
He now holds the top 11 100m breaststroke times in history, as well as the six best over 50m – the world record times in both events.
Plenty of sacrifices had to be made if Adam’s dream of professional swimming was to become a reality. After impressing in the younger age-groups, it soon became apparent that they would need to travel further away from home to access the swimming facilities required to help him develop his potential.
He joined the City of Derby swimming club and was coached by Melanie Marshall – who is still his coach today. His mother, Caroline, had to get him there and back from their Uttoxeter home for training on most days before going to her own job as a nursery manager.
“I don’t want people to think this has been an easy journey – he fought every step of the way, it made him the man he is,” Caroline said.
Donations and community-wide raffles, tombolas and barbecues were held in the local area to help with finances, which are expensive when initially starting up.
It’s clear that he has goals, both short and long-term to achieve, while his upbringing and family around him help keep him grounded too, not letting the success get to his head whilst avoiding complacency too.
“I want to set a target that most people can’t even think of doing,” Peaty said when questioned about his ambitions before the Rio Olympics.
As for the future, he’s keen to see just how much he can push human boundaries and wants to surpass his 56 second time in breaststroke too.
“I think that is why it makes me so proud to be the world record holder. No one has ever been faster than that in the history of mankind, so to have a record is a massive think for me. The main question is how fast can we go? Will we stick on 56 for 100 breaststroke for 100 years? You don’t know what rules are going to come in and then people go 54?”
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NOTE: This is not a published copy for commission nor leisure purposes, instead was a piece that I actually wrote for a Uni assignment.
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