Further Personal Information
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||She began swimming at age four in Mansfield, England and started competing at age 10.
|Why this sport?
||Her two older sisters were involved in swimming.
||Becks, Becky (British Swimming, 27 Apr 2006; Athlete, 31 Jul 2008)
|Most influential person in career
||Her coach and family. (English Aquatics Team Media Guide, 03 Oct 2010)
|Hero / Idol
||US swimmer Michael Phelps, British middle distance runner Kelly Holmes. (British Swimming, 27 Apr 2006)
||She contracted glandular fever at the start of 2006 and failed to qualify for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. (Mansfield Today, 13 Dec 2006)
In 2004 she suffered from bladder and kidney infections and did not compete in short course competitions between 2004 and 2006 as a result. (Mansfield Today, 13 Dec 2006)
|Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
||She likes to paint her nails in her nation's colours at international events. (mirror.co.uk, 27 Jun 2011)
|Sporting philosophy / motto
||"I literally do not have any regrets. Even if you make a bad mistake you can learn from it and it makes you stronger. I don't see the point in regretting it because your life experiences make you the person you are today." (telegraph.co.uk, 15 Jul 2011)
|Awards and honours
||She was named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2009. (bbc.co.uk, 30 Dec 2008)
She was named the British Sports Journalists' Association Sportswoman of the Year in 2008 and 2011. (sportsjounralists.co.uk, 12 Feb 2013)
In February 2013 she announced her retirement from competitive swimming at age 23. "I hate the word retire. I'll never retire from swimming, it's something I'll always love to do. But as an elite athlete I won't be swimming competitively any more." (guardian.co.uk, 05 Feb 2013)
At Britain's 2008 Olympic Games trials she shattered the oldest British record on the books, taking over five seconds off Sarah Hardcastle's 1986 record for the 800m freestyle. Her heat time of 8:19.22 was enough to eclipse Hardcastle's mark that had stood for over 20 years and make her the event's fourth fastest swimmer in history. (swimnews.com, 05 Apr 2008)
She broke the 800m world record by more than two seconds in the final at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The previous record was set by US swimmer Janet Evans in 1989, the year Adlington was born. The record had been the longest standing in world swimming. (bbc.co.uk, 16 Aug 2008)
The pool where she learned to swim, the Sherwood Swimming Baths, was refurbished and renamed the Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre in 2010. (English Aquatics Team Media Guide, 2010)