Olympic gold medallist swimmer Rebecca Adlington was guest of honour at the Isle of Man Bank Sports Awards last week at the Villa Marina.
Prior to attending, Rebecca spent time with some of the young up and coming stars of the future and attended a question and answer session for high school students at a lunch, organised by the bank, at Ballakermeen High School in Douglas.
25-year-old Rebecca talked about the joy of winning two gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, followed by two bronzes at the London Olympics in 2012, and answered a number of questions about how she motivated herself and how to overcome setbacks.
‘Every time I had a bad swim, it made me more determined to prove everyone wrong and prove myself wrong,’ she said.
Her success made all the hard work worthwhile, she told the young swimmers, and she was keen to share her experience with the next generation.
‘I was very proud to represent my country and put the Team GB kit on and to win a medal for your country is a big thrill,’ she said.
‘For me, going on the Olympic team, I felt like I had a responsibility as an athlete to pass on that legacy.’
There was even time to answer questions about her appearance on the ITV show I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.
The biggest problem she was warned about, ahead of the show, was the boredom.
‘I’m a swimmer, I stare at a black line for two hours a day, I can deal with the boredom! It was a great experience, I am so glad I did it.’
Isle of Man Bank head of community investment John Lindon thanked Rebecca for taking the time to talk to the students and said to them: ‘I hope you have been inspired by what you have heard and everybody can go on to achieve great things.’
During last Thursday’s awards night Mark Cavendish lifted the Isle of Man Bank-sponsored Sportsman of the Year award for a record eighth time, while the Isle of Man Sportswoman of the Year award went to equestrian’s Yasmin Ingham.
• For full coverage of the Isle of Man Bank Sports Awards see this week’s Isle of Man Examiner. It’s in the shops now.