Ling Long Pagoda, Beijing

Let's start with the numbers.

She's 19 years old.

This was her first Olympics.

On Monday she became the first woman to win a British swimming gold for 48 years.

On Saturday she became the first British swimmer to win two golds at the same Games for 100 years (the last was Henry Taylor in 1908).

She is only the third British athlete since World War Two to win two golds at the same Games (the others being Kelly Holmes, 800m/1500m 2004 and Richard Meade, three-day eventing, 1972). [1308 BST UPDATE: And now Chris Hoy keirin/men's sprint, 2008].

Rebecca Adlington won her second gold in the 800m final with a winning margin of more than six seconds - in a new world-record time of 8 minutes 14.1 seconds.

It was a record which had stood for 19 years, the oldest record in the swimming book and she broke it by more than two seconds.

But let's look at some less sexy numbers. The ones that really matter, the real story behind Rebecca Adlington's double gold in the pool.

Her day starts when the alarm goes at 5.15am.

By 5.45am she is getting changed at her home pool in Nottingham - home of Nova Centurion Swimming Club.

After a quick warm-up poolside, she is in the water by 6am.

Over the next two hours she will swim about 320 lengths.

She will have swum around 8,000m before many of us are out of bed.

Then it is home for breakfast, a sleep, a bit of TV - then at 4.15pm it's time to leave for the pool again for the second session of the day - when she gets to do it all again.

This happens every day of the week, except Wednesday - when coach Bill Furniss gives her and the 20 or so other members of the Centurion elite squad the morning off - and Saturday, when they get a whole extra hour in bed.

"The best hour of the week," says Centurion and GB team-mate and friend Jess Sylvester, who estimates that in a week Adlington may swim up to 80,000m.

That's more than 50 miles.

It's not glamorous. And it's not lucrative.

As a member of the British Swimming elite team, Adlington is funded by UK Sport.

For the last few years she has been in one of the lowest funding brackets, category C, which has given her an income of between £8,000-£10,000 a year.

Out of that she and her family have had to fund her full-time career as a swimmer - her travel, their travel, accommodation and kit.

"You've probably heard how expensive those new LZR costumes are, about £200 a go," she confides in whispered tones while we're sitting backstage in BBC TV's Ling Long Pagoda studio in Beijing.

She's joking about the pair of Christian Louboutin shoes she has got her eye on (she has already emailed her mum the internet link).

Adlington is just starting to understand what she has done here in Beijing in her first Olympic Games and what it might mean. A new pair of designer shoes.


"Coming into this meet, nobody wanted to speak to me - I was Miss Nobody!" she gasps in glee to the Today programme's John Humphreys, one of the many people waiting to interview her back home.

It was a very different story as she left the Olympic pool this morning, where a pack of 500 were waiting to speak to her.

Furniss, who describes her as an "aerobic animal", said: "It's going to be a steep learning curve for her, getting used to this attention, but I think the penny dropped when we came out to that crush.

"But she will handle it, she's a Mansfield girl and a pretty amazing one too, she'll keep her feet on the ground."

Indeed though Adlington is hungry and tired after this morning's exploits in the pool - she is still engaging, modest and excited at the prospect of appearing on the sofa to be interviewed by Claire Balding and Adrian Chiles in front of many millions of TV viewers in the UK who have got up for an early Saturday morning breakfast to hear how she got on.

Indeed, her bubbly nature was visible on the podium, where her tears dried up to be replaced by giggles - the fault of the British swim team who had all gathered around the pool side to celebrate her medal moment.

"I could just hear them all shouting - I could hear Simon Burnett yell, 'I want your babies!' - which I am sure his girlfriend would have something to say about as well as my boyfriend!"

The horseplay indicates what a fantastic mood now resonates within the British swimming camp - where while there has been only one other medal (Jo Jackson), the team has performed well.


Her good friend and fellow GB swimmer Cassie Patten, who jokingly called on the Queen to make her a Dame in the BBC's live post-race interview, has a good chance in the open-water swimming, and Adlington is pleased she can now take time off to go and cheer her on.

As Adlington is whisked away for a spot of make-up, Sylvester, a 100m freestyler who swam in the 4x100m relay team which finished seventh, tells me how they have all been buoyed by her wins.

"It is just so inspiring going to London in four years time. It is a long way away off and will mean a lot of hard work but it gives you the inspiration to do it when Becky can just go out there and smash the world record to win her second gold."

"I have had the privilege of seeing her train every day, and I know what she puts herself through and how tough she is.

"I saw how upset she was after last year's World Championships but to be honest I believe if she had not had that disappointment she might not have done this now because it made her a stronger person."

Adlington had been tipped as an outside medal chance going into the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne - but failed to make the final and left the pool in tears.

"She was bawling her eyes out, she was so upset," said BBC pundit and former GB swimming champion Karen Pickering.

"So that was the only question mark over Becky - there was no doubting her talent or her hard work - but could she do it at a major championship?"

The answer, as we now know, was very definitely yes.

Adlington herself admits that disappointment was what spurred her on over the last 18 months, when she has "pushed her body to the limits".

"I learnt a lot about myself that day. I had trained so hard - no less hard than I have been this year - but it was my first major meet and I was a bit out of my depth to be honest.

"I got out of the pool after failing to make the final and I was distraught, I was in tears, I have never been so upset. I swore then that I was never going to let that happen again, that I was not going to be getting out of the Olympic pool crying my eyes out."

She did, but it was tears of joy as she finished a full six seconds ahead of her nearest rival - then raised her arms aloft as she realised she had got the world record.

As Chiles joked, Adlington was so far ahead she could have turned into the final 50m and given the others a wink as they were coming towards her.

Indeed the distance by which she won had all Brits, starved of swimming success in recent years, pleasantly surprised ("She's six metres clear - and she's British!," squealed BBC commentator Andy Jameson).

It wasn't the close finish Holmes put us through in Athens on the way to her double gold, but in the same way, it could be the enduring image of this games for British fans.

While Holmes was a 34-year-old veteran in Athens, a victim of injury and bad luck for years until it all came right at her last shot at Olympic gold, Adlington is just getting started.

She had been talked about as a hot young talent as far back as 2004 when she won the European Junior Championships aged 16.

But the following year she contracted glandular fever and was laid low for many months, and at the same time, one of her two sisters contracted meningitis.

"It was a really testing time for the family and to be honest a lot of people were questioning whether she could come back from that," said Sylvester. "But it just shows how tough she is."

Adlington bounced back to win a silver at the European Championships in Hungary in 2006 - for which she received a special commendation from the mayor of Mansfield (the town is now going to rename the local Sherwood Baths in her honour).

After that her mum gave up her job to run her daughter's career full-time - though she still helps out in the accounts department at the steel fabrications company where Becky's dad is managing director.

"Mum has given so much for me, she is the one who is always there to ferry me around, to make sure things are right - my dad helps me financially but my mum is basically my manager.

"I owe them both everything."

Between them, her parents had seen every race their daughter had ever swum, until Monday...

They had bought tickets for the 400m final in the Water Cube - but they'd turned out to be fake and were only able to fly out on Wednesday.

"I thought 'oh no, maybe they've have missed my gold so in the 800m I just wanted so much to do it for them'."

"At about 500m, I breathed, and happened to look up and I saw my mum in the crowd with the Union Jack - I wasn't looking for them it was just luck - and I thought 'I've got to do it for them'.

After two golds in Beijing, Adlington is now hugely excited about the prospect of appearing on home turf at London 2012 - where she will be the same age as Michael Phelps now - but admits it also feels a bit overwhelming.

"The prospect of another four years of such hard work feels a bit daunting right now.

But I am going to have a good few months off which will help. But my body is developing; I am more muscley than I was last year so I am getting stronger.

It is early days now but I may focus more on the 200m and the 400m - as the training for the 800m is such hard work!"

But first up is a well-deserved holiday.

Her boyfriend, also a swimmer, stayed in the UK rather than come to Beijing so that the pair of them could afford to go on holiday afterwards.

They are going on a cruise around the Mediterranean - where she intends only to enter a pool to "cool off and get straight back out again!"

Claire Stocks is the BBC's interactive editor for Olympic sports. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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  • 1. At 2:00pm on 16 Aug 2008, SteveNewson wrote:

    I'm from Doncaster, just up the road from Mansfield, but I'm sat here in Illinois, USA and I feel so pleased and so proud of Becky. What a great and gracious representative of our country she is!

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  • 2. At 2:04pm on 16 Aug 2008, Vicky S wrote:

    Rebecca, I watched the live broadcast this morning, it was thrilling. I hope you enjoy the next few days relaxing and watching your fellow athletes.

    Thankyou so much, I am pleased your hard work and dedication has been so justly rewarded.

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  • 3. At 2:05pm on 16 Aug 2008, yes_maam wrote:

    She isn't actually the ' greatest british swimmer for 100 years '.

    Have you ever heard of a Scotsman called James Anderson. He is a paralympic swimmer and has won loads more gold medals than Rebecca Adlington.

    I congratulate Rebecca but i don't think she's the best ever.

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  • 4. At 2:13pm on 16 Aug 2008, fivs84 wrote:

    I watched the broadcast live and I was amazed at how well Rebecca did.

    It was something amazing to watch, and hopefully UK sport now get behind her fully and help her continue to improve.

    God bless her... well maybe not her cotton socks... but still congratulations and good luck in the future.


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  • 5. At 2:18pm on 16 Aug 2008, hero3279 wrote:

    What a brilliant article. Shivers ran through my body for the entire post.

    Just shows how you can bounce back from failure, even at the smaller events and prove everyone wrong when it really matters.

    Big competition, and she came through. Hard work always pays off. Well done Rebecca. Britain is proud of you

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  • 6. At 2:20pm on 16 Aug 2008, sonicated wrote:

    It's nice to see that Rebecca Adlington is in Beijing to win and not to just "enjoy the experience". Well done Becky!

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  • 7. At 2:25pm on 16 Aug 2008, Wilbe1 wrote:

    Adlington's success is a clear sign to British sport that it is high expectations that win medals. I find it extraordinary that people complain about not winning medals when athletes are praised for not doing what they set out to do.
    The point of the Olympic games is to be successful and win medals however Britain still feel that coming last in heats and finals can be branded "an excellent swim." Im sure Mr Phelps never praised himself or was praised by others when he came last and see what he has now acheived, regardless of whether he is superhuman or at least a machine...

    Congratulations Rebecca Adlington

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  • 8. At 2:34pm on 16 Aug 2008, spartansutd wrote:

    She is incredible, and what a great attitude she has. Such a nice story for her and her family supporting her with funds congrats to them.

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  • 9. At 2:34pm on 16 Aug 2008, jearle wrote:

    It's despicable that we as a country don't get behind our athletes as much as other countries. It's a true testament to our athletes that they are out there winning medals without the support they deserve.

    If we're to put on a good show at 2012 (and I don't just mean the "I hope we're not Terminal 5" organisers) and win some medals, we need to start investing now.

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  • 10. At 2:38pm on 16 Aug 2008, beckmd wrote:


    I have a 9 year old daughter, Freya, just starting out in competitive swimming - she has been spellbound by your achievement. So have I, and we both send you our heartfelt congratulations.

    We hope to see you in many competitions including London 2012 in the years to come and maybe Freya can follow in your wake. You are the inspiration she can look to.

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  • 11. At 2:39pm on 16 Aug 2008, Carole wrote:

    Got up to watch the race LIVE, was shattered but my goodness!! What a fabulous Olympic story, the world's your oyster now Rebecca! Be lucky Dame!!!!

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  • 12. At 2:40pm on 16 Aug 2008, smellslikesalmon wrote:

    #3 - no offence, but you can't even compare the two so why try to spoil the moment. I admire the paralympians and would also want something to aim for if I had a disability.

    But in some of those events maybe 20 or 30 people compete worldwide. Rebecca is now the fastest female 800m swimmer in history and has broken the oldest record in the pool, together with her 400m gold. Congrats to her on the greatest British swimming performance.

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  • 13. At 2:50pm on 16 Aug 2008, alannahjmay wrote:

    Congratulations Miss Adlington!
    Fantastic swim! Great to see someone do so excedingly well!
    Keep up the great work! It's going to be hard to beat that but don't give up!
    Watched you win on tv from Peacland, Canada.
    Go Girl, Go!!!!!

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  • 14. At 2:56pm on 16 Aug 2008, alannahjmay wrote:

    Re comment about the Scot and para Olympics. Your point was made however I think you come across as being full of sour grapes and a little too quick to remind us about the difference between being British and being English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish. Yes, most of us are proud of where we come from however that is not the topic here. Give the girl her due.......She did a fantastic job!

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  • 15. At 3:10pm on 16 Aug 2008, philiplewis33 wrote:

    I am in Beijing and have been watching most of the Olympics (some on TV, others live at the venues). After reading the BBC reporter's comments about Rebecca Adlington's performances, I have an urge to express how I feel.

    I watched a programme a while ago on TV about a father having to send his son abroad (perhaps Australia, if I remember rightly) to train as a "professional" swimmer because there were inadequate facilities at home. I didn't give much thought to it at that time but putting these 2 matters together makes you realise how badly we treat our talent in England, compared to those so called "hero footballers" who have been paid millions and bring in nil medals. Even their wives and their one night stand mistresses or whoever are related to them (including their cleaners) are paid far more than Rebecca, before she won her gold medals.

    From nobody to most wanted, I would advise her to not pay attention to any of those after her now and also urge the Sports Minister to resign if she has any shame for being so blind and not realising what a national treasure Rebecca is.

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  • 16. At 3:13pm on 16 Aug 2008, philiplewis33 wrote:

    Sorry, one more thing - perhaps Rebecca should think about changing her nationaity to get better treatment.

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  • 17. At 3:15pm on 16 Aug 2008, levdavidovich wrote:

    Yes, she has worked hard, but from your description of her weekly routine, she must be a professional swimmer (that is, she doesn't have another job).

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  • 18. At 3:59pm on 16 Aug 2008, AlberRatman wrote:

    She is a professional swimmer that recieves only £10,000 for being an elite squad prior to her sucess. Most people in this country wouldn't get out of bed for that "expense money" for the pain and effort she has to put in.

    Well done Becky, your mother is going to be mega busy with the endorsment contracts and nobody should begrude you for that!

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  • 19. At 4:02pm on 16 Aug 2008, bardez wrote:


    you do realise she is 19? How many other 19 year olds who damn good at what they do have a job? Most get sent out to Uni to learn a skill.

    I am from Mansfield, and am proud as punch for what she has achieved! Not much good gets reported from Mansfield, and for what she did for herself, young swimmers, and HOPEFULLY what will come as a result into british sports is awesome! It was a thrill to watch this morning!

    'Dame' Rebecca, you are a true heroine! Thank you!

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  • 20. At 4:11pm on 16 Aug 2008, NightRider wrote:


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  • 21. At 4:22pm on 16 Aug 2008, levdavidovich wrote:

    "She is a professional swimmer that recieves only ?10,000 for being an elite squad prior to her sucess. Most people in this country wouldn't get out of bed for that "expense money" for the pain and effort she has to put in." Thanks for the info. I was confused because some people kept talking about amateurs. Ms. Adlington has done exceptionally well.

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  • 22. At 4:43pm on 16 Aug 2008, Swimnutt wrote:

    In reply to what yes_maam has said, how can you compare Becky Adlington to Jim Anderson, there in two different leagues. Jim is the world record holder in his class by miles in fact he even beats classes above him. By looking at it I think he should be in a different class than what he is in.

    Becky has done the British Isles proud, well done to her and hope she keeps improving.

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  • 23. At 4:51pm on 16 Aug 2008, rowingwonder wrote:

    becky is a great inspiration to all sports people, especially the way she has bounced back from her disappointment last year - as a competitive rower i know how you can either let defeat get you or it can spur you on.

    its been a pleasure to watch you becky do so well.....i hope you get the shoes you want!

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  • 24. At 4:54pm on 16 Aug 2008, screig wrote:

    "Adlington won her second gold in the 800m final with a winning margin of more than six seconds - in a new world-record time of 18 minutes 14.1 seconds. "

    I could swim it 18 mins sure it wasnt 8 mins?

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  • 25. At 5:19pm on 16 Aug 2008, Long_Eaton wrote:

    I live in the next street from "Miss Nobody", and everyone 'round here is exstatic. The mood is great, and it really feels like she's part of everyone's family. That community spirit we hear about on the telly has came alive here, because everyone just feels like we're all together in this - she's done it for Britain alright, but it's us Mansfieldians who're feeling the pride the most right now.

    Oh and SteveNewson, Docaster is hardly "just up the road" from us, it's in Yorkshire over 35 miles away!

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  • 26. At 5:21pm on 16 Aug 2008, AlberRatman wrote:

    At 4:22pm on 16 Aug 2008, levdavidovich wrote:
    "Thanks for the info. I was confused because some people kept talking about amateurs. Ms. Adlington has done exceptionally well. "

    The Olympic's haven't been for amatuers for some time for the most of the sports!!
    Even the boxers (who technically do not get paid for fighting) get better funding than the swimmers!

    Do you buy a lottery ticket every week? I hope so, becuase if you do, it is your money levdavidovich, that is sponsoring my great enjoyment this weekend!

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  • 27. At 5:22pm on 16 Aug 2008, dudepod45 wrote:

    Well done Rebecca! One of the greaest ever sporting achievements. You are a great role model for all young athletes...

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  • 28. At 5:25pm on 16 Aug 2008, Martin Gough - BBC Sport wrote:

    screig, Thanks for the spot - it was eight minutes, of course, and a typo on our part.

    Not sure I could do 18 minutes if I'm honest.

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  • 29. At 5:40pm on 16 Aug 2008, Canadiancharles wrote:

    And, as stunning as it may seem, she is still ms.Nobody in Canada. Whilst the Beeb acknowleged Canada's first gold today, the CBC who is covering the games here, not only didn't show Becky's stunning victory, they didn't even bother to show it in the results, and haven't even mentioned it since as far as I know. I watched all their coverage during the time Becky won until a long time after

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  • 30. At 5:45pm on 16 Aug 2008, catlest wrote:

    Re: James Anderson -- true, there are fewer Paralypmians who compete. But they also get very little funding and almost no publicity. However, in terms of the dedication and effort it takes them to compete, their challenge is enormous.

    I believe we ought to celebrate BOTH regular Olympians and Paralympians, and give more attention to the latter. They can teach us all something about the sporting spirit.

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  • 31. At 5:50pm on 16 Aug 2008, SteveInVilnius wrote:

    I got up really early in Vilnius, Lithuania to watch Rebecca this morning - am immensely proud of what she's achieved, really put Mansfield on the map - now let's hope some of that magic rubs off on the town's footie team!

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  • 32. At 5:57pm on 16 Aug 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    Seeing as Kelly Holmes was made a Dame for two Golds in one Games, any chance Becky could get the same, Your Majesty?

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  • 33. At 6:03pm on 16 Aug 2008, secondKatherineB wrote:

    Very well done to Rebecca, and well deserved. But let's also remember previous generations of British Olympic athletes who used to - and perhaps some still do - set their alarm clocks at 5.15 for training, then go to a full time job, then train again in the evening, because no one was giving them any money at all. Times have changed.

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  • 34. At 6:08pm on 16 Aug 2008, Timmy_Toerag wrote:

    Nice to see her hard work rewarded. Retaining her innocence and enthusiasm may prove more difficult than the medals as expectation begins to weigh.

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  • 35. At 6:10pm on 16 Aug 2008, beefmannumber1 wrote:

    i am a geordie lad who was out on th toon last night got fairly drunk but remenbered to set my alarm for the start of her race,slightly hungover i awoke to watch such a brave performance from a truely wonderful lass and athlete, god bless her she made my day and got rid of my hangover!

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  • 36. At 6:22pm on 16 Aug 2008, princesstiggrr wrote:

    Am so proud of all of the British Swimming Team, a great games!

    It goes without saying Becky is a superstar.

    I just wish those in power would sit up and allocate a bit more funding to help her and other up and coming swimming stars of the future. Sadly, I won't be holding my breath.

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  • 37. At 6:26pm on 16 Aug 2008, AlwaysWatching wrote:

    Fantastic achievement and will hopefully convince more kids to get in the water.

    Just a small complaint, I did not get up at 3am to watch it having been told during Friday's coverage, I think by Ms Balding, that if we tuned in at 7am they would re-run the race without telling us the result. I got up at 6.30am, kept away from the coverage, got a brew, sat down and turned on at 7am only to be told straight away by Mr Childs that she had won, then told again in the news and then only shown half of the race. Thanks BBC!

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  • 38. At 6:54pm on 16 Aug 2008, feb04neutral wrote:

    fantastic achievement by rebecca , we in mansfield are so proud of her !! i looked out of my window at 3.00 am and the lights were on in numerous houses , all up early to watch ( and pray ) rebecca win Gold , i and many of my family will be cheering her on the open top bus parade around mansfield when she comes home !!. i do hope everyone votes for her in the sports personality of the year awards but i suppose the over paid and under worked footballers will win !!!

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  • 39. At 6:58pm on 16 Aug 2008, MikeFay wrote:

    Brilliant achievement by Rebecca Adlington. Here's an idea for honouring her - how about building a 50m competition swimming pool in Nottinghamshire?

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  • 40. At 7:06pm on 16 Aug 2008, del_burton wrote:

    Fantastic job by all the swim team.

    Lets hope the Bean counters relax the pursestrings a little and start to fund these guys at a level they deserve.

    Bring on 2012!!

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  • 41. At 7:35pm on 16 Aug 2008, dudepod45 wrote:

    Interesting that the premiership should start on the same day as Rebecca's fantastic swim. Interesting also that top footballers get paid more for a day's work than she gets for an entire year. Who would you rather have as a role model for aspiring young athletes?

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  • 42. At 8:21pm on 16 Aug 2008, yes_maam wrote:

    just to say, rebecca did a great job and she deserves the credit but the greatest ever british swimmer is too far.

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  • 43. At 8:38pm on 16 Aug 2008, Philip_Mitchell wrote:

    At the start of these Olympics nobody (except those from Mansfield) had heard of Rebecca Adlington
    She was just another member of the Olympic squad.
    She has achieved so much at such a young age (19!) and has given us so much to be proud of in early hours of the morning.
    The 400 metres was never her strong event - so to win that at the end like she did - was very encouraging.
    To set a new Olympic record in qualifying for the 800 metres final - I think people started to realise - we have something special here
    But to go out and win the final the way she did was just marvellous and incredible.
    She started as a nobody (no disrespect Rebecca) and finished as one of the most talked about people from Great Britain competeting in the Olympics - and she has handled the media such maturity

    When she returns to Mansfield - Tony Egginton - Executive Mayor has promised her one of the biggest homecoming parites Mansfield has ever seen plus the pair of deisgner shoes he promised if she came back with a gold medal

    Well done Rebecca - the people of Mansfield (I include myself in this) are so proud of what you have achieved

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  • 44. At 9:36pm on 16 Aug 2008, MeanWarlock wrote:

    Congrats to Rebecca she did her country proud. As to the knighthood, unless the Queen uses her personal gift, u need to recommend to Gordon Brown for it, as most of the awards are controlled by the Government.

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  • 45. At 10:27pm on 16 Aug 2008, earthelement wrote:

    While i respect the achievements of paralympians, it is hard to compare them. If Rebecca Addlington was to race in the paralypics, she would have a bucket load of golds, So to say a paralympian is better than her is disrespecting both her and James Anderson`s achievements

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  • 46. At 00:28am on 17 Aug 2008, electronicelizabeth wrote:

    brilliant how proud we all are. just goes to show how the other half live. my view is that the likes of professional tennis players and footballers should not be in the games.

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  • 47. At 03:18am on 17 Aug 2008, davpearson wrote:

    Thank you Becky, thank you very much.

    Rule Britania.

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  • 48. At 07:18am on 17 Aug 2008, tonysygrove wrote:

    I am a proud Yorkshireman living in Mansfield and working in Saudi Arabia. My biggest regret is that I could not watch Becky's races. Becky I am so proud of your achievements and wish you and your parents all the very best for the future. Sorry I will not be there for the open top bus parade, but I will be there in spirit for you. Tony, as mayor it is your duty to give this young lady the freedom of Mansfield. Mr Brown this young lady deserves the highest honour you can bestow. Go get them Dame Becky.

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  • 49. At 09:10am on 17 Aug 2008, japa108 wrote:

    Well Rebecca, you are 19 and you have just done something pretty amazing. However, I heard the interview where you admitted on TV that you could not wink to the other swimmers as you passed them because you cannot 'wink'. Well I can wink, so you maybe a good swimmer but in one other very particular skill I am better than you.

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  • 50. At 09:51am on 17 Aug 2008, Torretaff wrote:

    congratulations Rebecca, can't watch the olympics, got no t.v. but we get all the news of the GB team on the internet. keep up the good work, Rebecca and the Beeb.

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  • 51. At 2:05pm on 17 Aug 2008, under_twilight wrote:

    Well done Miss Adlington, it has been a real pleasure to watch you swim and attain both of those medals, I was greatly anticipating your swim yesterday after watching you and Jo Jackson's great performance earlier this week.

    Maybe now the British government will wake up and realise that the talent is there, it's there in so many sports, it's the funding that isn't there or the opportunity to progress. We have to think about why countries such as the USA, China, Russia and Australia do so well at these games and part of the reason must be that there's more sporting initiatives to attract kids to sport and that there's funding for those who could potentially represent their country at the highest level. We have widening participation for university, why not for sport? When I was growing up (I'm 20 now) I learnt to swim at primary school, but stopped at secondary school as it was not on the curiculum and there was only one swimming club in the area which wasn't at my local pool, hence I stopped swimming. I'm not saying I'd have even got to regional level, my point is the opportunity wasn't even there for me to continue. All this talk of rising childhood obesity and children not enjoying PE, well give them a choice of sport! Get them interested in SOMETHING!

    Miss Adlington's performance, along with the triumphs of other members of Team GB and upcoming London 2012, should be the kick up the backside the British Government needs to do something about sport in this country.

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  • 52. At 08:09am on 18 Aug 2008, JanerHopson wrote:

    I had tears of joy watching both Rebecca's races, it was so pleasing to see such a young well balanced person acheive her ultimate goal (Gold) twice.

    Well done, we're so proud of you, come on 2012

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  • 53. At 7:00pm on 19 Aug 2008, FawltyBasil wrote:

    Fantastic. I am an ex-swimmer and still have family and friends in swimming, and this was the best British swimming performance ever, surpassing David Wilkie in 1976. And all the more satisfying as she did her training at home without going to an American university too. I bet on her at 14/1 after watching her at the nationals in the 400m 6 weeks ago (where she was actually faster than in the Olympic final) which was an absolute snip so thanks for that too Becky!

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