Each Olympics has its own energy depending on the host country. What would you look forward to most about London 2012?
I hear the facilities are amazing and I think the natural competitive energy between UK and Australia will be front of mind for the Australian athletes and will create a fun, friendly rivalry.
What is it about swimming that motivates you to carry on?
I still enjoy the process. There is a natural competitive drive I have. I love training to compete and perform. I love being fit and healthy and I think this aspect of swimming will always be a part of my lifestyle. It’s a core value.
How do you best deal with the pressure of the sport?
I try to channel that pressure to my advantage and use it for motivation. I think it’s also really important to have some balance and put things in perspective. Swimming is what I do, it’s not who I am. There are many other facets of life that I really enjoy, such as spending time with friends and family, enjoying a good meal, being outdoors and travelling. If I factor these into my life, I feel more grounded and able to cope with the pressures of swimming.
What goes through your mind as you swim the last 20 metres of a race?
Mostly technical aspects of my performance. I draw on the training that I’ve done and use it to put together the race.
What do you like to listen to on your iPod to get you pumped up before a big race?
Instead of listening to music I like to be aware of my surroundings, feel the energy and centre my focus. I also like to talk to people in the marshalling area as it settles me.
What are you competitive in apart from swimming?
I’m not really competitive at other sports - but I am very competitive at board games.
Apart from swimming, what sport would you most like to watch during the Games?
Basketball and netball.
What’s your favourite hotel abroad?
The Cristal Palace, Barcelona.
What’s your all-time favourite city and why?
I love the efficiency and energy of Tokyo.
Where’s your favourite place to hang out at home in Brisbane?
I love Cha Cha Char restaurant. They do a great steak.
Leisel Jones is one of Australia’s most successful female swimmers. Leisel was selected for the Australian team at just 14 years of age. Shortly after her fifteenth birthday, Leisel debuted at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in the 100m Breaststroke. Leisel not only produced a new personal best from this swim, but she also finished in second to collect the silver medal. Leisel returned from the 2004 Athens Olympic Games with her first gold medal, from the 4 x 100m Medley Relay, along with a bronze and silver medal for the 100m and 200m Breaststroke events, respectively. Leisel solidified her status of Australia’s golden girl at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games where she won gold for the 100m Breaststroke. That same year, Leisel was awarded the Telstra Swimmer of the Year award