On the 1st August 2012, a Glaswegian boy made history. Aged 24 and in lane four of the 200m Breaststroke final at the London Olympics, Michael Jamieson covered the 200m in a blistering 2:07.43 setting a new British record and claiming an Olympic silver medal. However, little did he know that when his head rose out of the water for the last time, his life would not look the same again.
“The past year has flown by. The build up to London seemed so long, but it has just raced by since then. I’ve enjoyed both sides of my success and I guess for me it was something I was thrown into the deep-end with and something I had to quickly learn to cope with.”
Not just a Scottish icon but also a British andÂ international swimming role-model, Michael, nicknamed MJ, has had to quickly learn many things but none quicker than how to tame the famously difficult to understand Glaswegian accent. But this is understood to be part and parcel of being on the medal podium and after breaking the British record three times during theÂ Olympics, Michael is definitely in the public eye.
Based at the University of Bath, Michael recently took a ‘disappointing’ 5th place by his standards in the 200m Breaststroke at the 2013 World Championships, following a season plauged by injury. But he claims he is now ready for the Glasgow 2014 challenge. The hometown favourite and recently announced Glasgow 2014 Ambassador will inevitably have to cope with a pile of pressure to claim gold.
“It’s not something that scares me, I expect results and I’m my own harshest critic. If I don’t get the results I’m looking for, like you guys saw in Barcelona, you can see I’m as disappointed as anybody.”
“I do need to learn to deal with that better in the run up to Games but if people are looking at my results over the past few years, I’ve finished second at the last few big events and obviously I want to go one better. Aside from any other external pressure, that is common sense, I always want to better myself.”
No stranger to the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, the Glasgow 2014 swimming venue, Michael recently visited his old splashing ground for the ticketing launch.
“It’s great to be back here, it’s the first time I’ve seen it since the refurbishment and it is now a world class facility and fully deserves to host an event as big as the Commonwealth Games. As a youngster, it was always known as a fast pool, and I don’t think that is going to change so I’m looking forward to posting some fast times next summer.
“I will be first in the pool this off-season and looking to earn the result that everyone is looking for.”
You can follow Michael on Twitter @mj88live
Photo credit: Getty Images