Life after Rio: Jazz Carlin

21 Sep 2016

Just a few days after getting back from Rio I went to the I Am Team GB event at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff and never expected to see the amount of sports they were offering to the kids that day – it was amazing.

Jazz Carlin
Jazz Carlin

I had people coming up to me saying they had tried so many different sports that they loved and that is what it is all about really.

If we can help inspire the next generation of athlete’s coming through to go on and try and achieve their dreams and try out new sports then that is what it is all about.

I feel very lucky to be in that position where I can go along and show them my Olympic medals and it was just amazing to see them so happy.

It has been incredible to be back and see everyone who has supported me along the way and appreciate all the time we had out in Rio because it wasn’t just me, I was part of such a massive support team but also had the whole of Team GB behind me and everyone was just incredible and I felt so lucky to be a part of such an amazing team. 

We got a feeling of all the support while we were over in Rio but we couldn’t have expected the reaction we had when we got home and the I Am Team GB event was a great chance to say thank you and hopefully inspire the stars of the future.

Since being back I have done a few different things. I went back to see my old swimming club where it all started and that was really nice as they were all so welcoming and loved seeing my medals.

I also had the opportunity to go to a Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales in Cardiff which pulled on the heart strings but seeing them with a smile on their face and wearing the Olympic medals or holding the Olympic medals was just such a nice feeling.

They are inspiring in themselves really so for me to have the opportunity to go in I feel very lucky.

I have been able to enjoy myself a bit too. We spend most of the time throughout the year training so hard so it is nice to get some time to enjoy it all, see some people I hadn’t seen for a while as swimming is not the most socialising sport, so it is nice that I get to enjoy it all and celebrate with the people who have been there through the whole journey.

I actually sat down with my coach David McNulty a couple of nights ago and it was just nice to see him really and catch up and relive Rio as it was a bit of a whirlwind.

Rio did feel special. I have obviously raced at a lot of competitions, whether it is Commonwealth Games, Europeans or World Championships, but it did feel different to be in an Olympic Games.

It just felt so good to be racing and be a part of Team GB. It just felt so special and I feel lucky to have been a part of that team. There was a definite buzz around the camp and everyone was performing so well and that just felt so good to be a part of.

For me it was my first Olympic experience and I absolutely loved it – it was incredible. It has been a bit of whirlwind and it doesn’t really seem real.

I will sit down with my coach at some point and set out a plan for the next four years but it is just about making sure I stay healthy and stay fit.

I am quite looking forward to getting back into training. I will start back in the gym first and slowly start building it back up in the pool.

I am not sure what my first competition back will be but there are World Championship trials next year in April so everything will be geared towards that.

It is quite sad that Rio is over but I am looking forward to the next four years now.