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Spofforth is lapping up Olympic experience
Gemma Spofforth is loving life in the Olympic village.
The world 100m backstroke record-holder from Slindon is gearing up for one last crack at an Olympic medal after missing out on bronze in Beijing by four hundredths of a second.
The Florida-based 24-year-old expects London 2012 to be her final competitive action in the pool and is determined to saviour it.
She certainly seems to be drinking in the atmosphere in the Olympic village in Stratford surrounded by athletes from across the globe.
Spofforth tweeted: “Cannot believe how lucky I am to be experiencing this Olympics like this. Each moment brings more. Very blessed.”
Spofforth, who competes in her heat at the Aquatic Centre in Stratford on Sunday, loves the camaraderie in the Great Britain team and admits that the self-centred approach top swimmers require is one of the toughest parts of the sport.
She told The Argus: “Swimming is a very individual sport and that’s one of the hardest things for me as it is also a very selfish sport because we do it for ourselves.
“Our coaches are there for us and I don't like that part of the sport.
“I like to help other people and be around other people.”
That was demonstrated in the Olympic qualifiers when Spofforth was quick to comfort her team-mate Lizzie Simmonds after she missed out on a place in the 100m backstroke at the Games.
Simmonds subsequently qualified to compete in the 200m backstroke and Spofforth says she and her have a lot in common. Spofforth said: “Lizzie is very similar to me and we have spoken about those things very often.
“In the past five six years I have raced all but a few people on the Olympic team so we have all become very close.
“We go away to camps two weeks before competitions. We have our ups and downs together so the swimming community is so close-knit that we are good friends and support each other.
“Myself and Lizzie race each other but we have a great friendship. It starts as soon as a race finishes and we touch the wall but stops as soon as we dive in. “It’s only gone for the short time we are racing.”
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