I am one of the lucky people to have competed in the London 2012 Olympic Games!
Sport: Swimming
Main event: 400 Individual Medley

European Bronze Medalist in 800m Freestyle

Train, Live and born in Middlesbrough...
TEESIDE UNI STUDENT - Sports Coaching #TeesElite

"Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't..."

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Amsterdam, Europeans, and DUEL!

Hello Readers :)
I'm currently sat on the train, so I thought instead of doing some Uni work (which I really should be doing) I'd write a little something something for you...

As some of you may know, if you follow me on twitter, I have been racing in Amsterdam, and at the European Short Course championships in Denmark over the last two weeks and I've actually surprised myself and swam pretttttty well!

In Amsterdam I travelled with my coach and my team (The Mighty Middlesbrough Swimming Club) to race in my first Long Course competition of the season. This is normally one I'd dread as the first Long Course competition normally isn't pretty, but for some strange reason I was looking forward to it. The atmosphere there was really good. There were spot lights, flashing lights, and music played as you walked out behind the block in the final sessions before your event; people were even dressed up, (and I'm not joking - people had painted themselves blue - I think the Smurfs came to watch) It was really nice to have a little bit of fun :)

But alongside the fun I swam some of my best times. I broke my own English Record in my main event the 400IM, in my first one of the season. I was literally so shocked, I had no idea I would swim that quick - I don't think my coach did either.  I've been working hard in the pool and working on all my skills so far this season after I finished a disappointing 9th at the world championships in August so I was hoping to do well... But to break my own record in December was a HUGE shock! It's something a senior swimmer doesn't do really; drop time unless they're rested and ready to race, but I'm not going to complain.

After Amsterdam my next pit stop was Denmark for The European SC Championships. This was the competition where last year I won my first senior international medal, and after swimming so well the weekend before I was looking forward to it!

Also this year I came away with another medal!
I won Bronze in the 400IM behind two of the best Medley swimmers in the world, so It's safe to say I was pretty chuffed. I finished the race, saw the time and couldn't really believe I'd gone that quick. My aim was to medal and break the English record which was held by Kerri-Ann Payne and I did just that but by more than I'd expected. :) There's no better feeling knowing that that hard work I'm putting in day in, day out, pays off!

Hold it there though...
I'm still not finished yet for Christmas because I'm such a busy bee; one more competition to go! I said I was on the train procrastinating earlier and I'm actually on my way to Glasgow to race at DUEL IN THE POOL!!

For those that don't know much about swimming a Duel in the pool Is a competition between two teams. There have been Duel in the pool's between GB and Germany before (which I've raced in) but this Duel is a good one which I've never done before - EUROPE VS AMERICA!

America are a quick swimming nation and have so many talented swimmers but this weekend Europe are teaming up to try and take them down!!! Yes I said it.. Brave but we'll give it a good go! I believe its live on SKY Sports (I may be wrong) so you should definitely tune in to watch as there will be some good races. I'll be racing 200Butterfly, 200Individual Medley and 400 Individual medley and will try my best to kick some American butt!

Have a great Christmas and I'll be back next year!
2nd January - My first stop - Altitude Training

Aimee :)


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

9th Place...

‘Brilliant swim Aimee’

 ‘I’m so proud of you’

‘9th in the world is nothing to be disappointed with’

…. But I was!

All these nice comments you hear from family, friends and supporters are not what you want to hear when all you want to do is hide away and be 100% well and truly gutted with what had just happened.

I went to the World Championships this year with my heart set on a final spot. After finishing 11th in London I didn’t think this goal was too far out of reach, and I just fell short of this.  9th place I thought would be the worst place to finish, and it became a reality. Its only one place off of what I wanted to achieve but still I wasn’t happy.

I finished the race, saw the time and knew that I may have just missed out on a final spot.  4min, 37 seconds was the time I thought may secure me that spot and I finished a time of 4.38.

0.4seconds was what separated me from the top 8 swimmers in the world. No-body remembers who was 9th; rarely people even remember who was in the final, but this year that was my only target.

It’s so hard to put feelings into words when things don’t go your way. Any other swimmer will understand what I’m saying here. You train for 11 months of the year as hard as you possibly can, sacrifice so much, all for just one race that lasts about 5 minutes.

On reflection, my race wasn’t actually that bad. The time I swam at worlds was the quickest time id swam last year, so at least I swam the fastest when I needed to. I just wasn’t quick enough. I even went out in under world record pace, so that’s pretty funny I think to know that isn’t too unrealistic for me to do.

This year I need to be doing even more, trying even harder and making sure that this year I make that giant step in the right direction. That’s the only way I’m going to achieve what I want to in Rio.

Monday, 21 January 2013


It’s cold, miserable and snowy outside so I thought now is the best time to FINALLY get around to writing my post-Olympic blog! Plus… I think it’s only fair you get a sneaky peek at some of the pictures I took while I was at the Games.
The Olympic Games from 28th July to 13th August were the best two weeks of my life so far and I don’t think anything will come close to topping that for a long while…

Day one, 28th July 2012 was RACE DAY, and I can proudly and happily say I finished 11th place in the 400 Individual Medley. And for those that know my dad Stuart used to swim, I finished higher ranked than he did so now I’m the pro in the Willmott household! J The whole experience is one I will never forget and I hope to only add to with future competitions. The craziest thing when I think about it properly (even though it sometimes seems all too good to have happened to me) was the noise of the crowd right before I swam; the entire stadium was cheering and waving flags and that memory is one that will always be extra special and personal to me, as no one else knows how or will be able to understand how I felt right at that moment. Hannah Miley a fellow GB swimmer was racing in the heat before me and swam brilliant and the buzz from Hannah, and the crowd, carried me down the first length of my race without even thinking about what to do or where I was. Unfortunately my experience of competing at the Olympics only lasted for 4.38.4 seconds and I can only imagine what it would have been like to compete in a Final at London 2012. Because my event is pretty tough there is no semi-final for it, meaning I missed out, as 11th place in most other events would have guaranteed a second swim and that once in a life time experience to walk out to my name in front of a home crowd. I can always dream, but hey I can’t complain as I was lucky to have a Home Olympics fall at a perfect time in my lifetime. Most don’t get the opportunity so that’s one I can say I have had and be thankful for.

Myself and Ellie Faulkner 
After my competing had finished the games just got better and better as I became head cheerleader. I was the first GB swimmer and probably one of the first athletes from the entire GB Team to finish competing so I took up the role to make sure I was there every session cheering as loud as I could for the rest of the team, I know if I was still competing they would be there for me. My voice slowly disappeared and every time the doctor told me to stop shouting somebody racing would be so close to a best time or a medal I just couldn't help but join in with the cheering. (Well I tried to but literally I couldn't speak, haha) For the next two weeks after the Olympics I managed just about managed to croak my way through my sentences, so I’d say that was some dedication on my behalf to the team!

I know there were lots of negative comments from the Media about how unsuccessful the swim team ‘apparently’ were but I’d like to see those people who don’t have anything positive to say give it a go. It isn’t exactly easy, because if it was everybody would have an Olympic medal and they don’t. When Becky and Michael were racing I don’t think any one of OUR team could say they were disappointed of them. Yes, swimming may be an individual sport, but without a team we wouldn't all be as successful as we are; we know how much hard work and dedication it takes to reach the top which obviously they don’t. We all work harder than most and for little reward compared to likes of footballers and ‘professional sportsmen’ to even get a taste of achieving that dream of being stood on an Olympic Podium.

Just chilling with the London 2012 mascot
Me stood under the Olympic Rings in the Village

Before we went to London we travelled to Edinburgh to train as a team for a few days before the games started. While we were there we had a lovely formal meal where we all had to wear our provided evening wear. It was strange seeing so many people all wearing the same clothes but it was lovely way to spend some time not thinking about the pressure of the competition ahead and to just enjoy it. Roberto Pavoni who is in the picture with me below is one of my best friends from the team. We have competed in every competition together bar the world championships in pretty much the same events so when we both qualified it was the next best thing to me making the team myself.

Poster for Open water cheering -
 Design and making by myself and Pavoni!
Modeled by me and Fran 
After the swimming and the open water events were over I was lucky enough to see some other events. I got tickets for Water polo, the pairs Synchronised swimming, Diving and BMXing. The BMXing was probably my favourite event to watch as I've never watched something like that before. I didn’t realise how fast they whiz around a circuit on a bike, if that was me I guarantee I’d have been off my bike and on my bum after the first jump. The venue was pretty impressive but I guess they all were at the Games; I didn’t hear a single complaint. I was lucky enough to see Tom Daley win his medal on the 10m Platform dive and that was unbelievable to watch. It was sooooo close until the last few dives and by the reaction from his team you could tell that he was chuffed with it. The HUGE bonus for me (and if you know me you will already know) Is I LOVE David Beckham, and I could NOT BELIEVE I was in the same building as him when Tom was diving. If I’d have been able to properly meet him I think I’d have been the happiest person alive at that moment in time, but not many people can say that they’ve seen his head poking out the top of a crowd… but I can!!!!

The Olympic park itself was beautiful. To get to it from the village was a little hop over a bridge, through security, and it was as simple as that. I tried to get into the Park as much as I could when I wasn't busy as the atmosphere was amazing to be in. So many people dressed up in union jack fancy dress (including my family I must admit) watching the huge screens in the park cheering and having a good time. During the two weeks of the Olympics I would say London was probably the best place to be and if you didn't get tickets or manage to watch on the TV you definitely missed out.
My best friend & sister after i had raced..

I wasn’t lucky enough to get tickets to watch any of the athletics and I really, really, really wanted to. Even though I didn’t get inside the stadium when the competing was on you could hear what was going on from the Village. I remember walking back from the food hall when Mo won his second Gold medal and the entire stadium roared so loudly that we all knew a Team GB athlete had won something. When the National anthem was echoing from the stadium I had goosebumps, you just don’t hear things like that every day.

What most people didn’t get to do was hold a REAL OLYMPIC LONDON 2012 GOLD MEDAL but I did, it was Peter Wilsons shooting GOLD Medal. I’d met him a few days before competing and I watched his event on the TV in the room and all I remember was jumping up and yelling to my roommates, “WOOOO we've won another Gold!” I shared a room with Ellie Faulkner who swam the 800freestlye and the 4x200 relay and we also shared a mini apartment with Hannah Miley, Rebecca Turner, and Steph Proud. I loved sharing with these girls as we had so much fun and luckily we had one of the best rooms as ours had two floors!!
Me, Peter and his Gold medal!

My room mates 'Left to Right'
 Rebecca, me, Steph, Ellie, Hannah!

I went to the closing ceremony at the Commonwealth games in Delhi but the London 2012 closing ceremony was one million times better! Because my race was on day one of the Olympics I didn't get to go to the Opening ceremony but the closing one made up for it… Not only did I manage to sneak on Tv walking at the front of Team GB on the way to the stadium I had a good view when I was inside and met some lovely people. Seeing the Spice Girls on stage was probably the best bit for me. I used to pretend I was sporty spice when I was younger as I was a massive Spice Girl’s fan, so I guess seeing them live was pretty cool. Afterwards the whole of Team GB had a little after party with some of the athletes DJ’ing and I didn't sleep all night as me and a few of the other swimmers were having so much fun with everybody, making new friends and chatting about the entire experience… why would you want to sleep?!?! The only downside to that meant traveling home extremely tired, and no surprise for me my train decided to break down, so I had to haul all of my luggage, bare in mind I had the three biggest suitcases possible and a rucksack, off of one train and onto other!
It’s true what they say about the Olympic blues. I didn't think it would be to upset once I got home and had seen my family but I was, I missed it so much and I still wish I could go back now; eat as much food as I possibly could from all over the world in the food hall, chilling with all my friends, and having an awesome time making memories I’ll never forget, but I guess I can’t.

So I hope you enjoyed this sneaky peek into my Olympic Games… If I tried to tell you everything that went on you would be here all day!

OHH and I almost forgot. I have to say how amazing the Games Makers were! Without them I’d have got lost many a time and London 2012 wouldn’t have been the same J  

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Hey everyone!  My trip to Sheffield last weekend was very successful for those who'd like to know! I swam only 1 second slower than my personal best time in the final and had my faster ever heat swim so things went exactly to plan! :) I've got a little bit more confidence from it too; the theory is if I swam that well un rested I can only hope I'm going to be even faster once I'm ready to go on race day! Not long now :) I'm currently up in Scotland at the moment doing some Long Course training in and around the Stirling ITC guys, and so far so good. I had a tough set of 50s max yesterday morning and some threshold work last night, and I'd been in the gym so I woke up this morning feeling very sore! (but luckily the physio was on hand to help)  The worst place to have massaged I find is my legs, there's nothing worse than having sore legs and having muscle release done around your knee caps! ouchh! But apart from the muscles not holding up to well, I'm having a pretty solid start to the week!  On the flip side last weekend I got all my Olympic Games kit and It.. is.. amazing!!!!   I was like a child on Christmas day when I walked through the doors and saw it all I was that excited...  The best thing was, the entire kitting out area looked like either an Adidas shop, or a actual NEXT shop which i think made the whole experience really cool; We even had our own assistant to. Each item was hung on a rack in each different size for us to try on and then our 'personal shopper' had to mark down which size fit, and to make things even better somebody else hung it back on the hanger for the next person to try on. So we basically did nothing all day other than be looked after and then we got to take home all this amazing kit, BONUS... Talk about being looked after :p  This whole process took me personally about 3 hours, some guys took less time and some took foreverrrr, but honestly I didn't mind it at all, it was fun and everybody involved was so lovely!  I hate it when you get kit given to you that doesn't fit properly so this way we knew it would all be A okay! As soon as I get home I shall fill you all in on what my favourite piece of kit is and maybe in post a picture or to!  Anything you want to ask just leave me a comment and I'll get back to you :)  Over and out from rainy Scotland!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Busy Bee

Today i am heading down to Sheffield to compete in the ASA National Championships which for some athletes is the second chance to secure a place in Team GB for London 2012. All of the events that were'nt filled at the Olympic Trials have been left wide open for athletes at this selection to fill. The mens 200 backstoke was one of those events with no swimmers from Team GB selected for but yesterday both of the spots were filled so that adds another two swimmers to the list of Team GB, and while all this is happening i'm becoming slightly more excited. By the end of tomorrow all atheletes in the pool will be picked, which means that its here, there are only 35 days until The Olympic Games start!!!!!

Tomorrow i'm racing the 400m Freestyle along with my main event, 400m Individual Medley and this will be my last competition before the games so i'll be trying to swim a good time before i'm fresh and ready for the big day. If i can do that i'll give my self a HUGEE confidence boost and thats what i'd like most. :)

This week however i've been super, super busy!
Monday: On Monday after a bit of speed work i popped along to Kader Primary School and did a litte presentaion and a question and answers session with the entire school in their school hall and i loved doing it. (Hello everyone) The year 3 class had swimming lessons that day to and i would have loved to go along and watch, but the gym was calling my name. I still remember being in Nursery so it didn't seem like i left primary school 8 years ago.

Tuesday: I had the best day! I haven't really done very much photography work but i got to be a model for the day at Van Mildert... which was AWESOME! I had my hair done and got a new make over and some lovely clothes to; so i want to thank everyone who made me feel all pretty instead of my usual day to day look of tracksuits with my hair tied back. (a mess in other words)

Wednesday: I went out for tea, so maybe this was the best day of the week actually. The way to a swimmers heart - Food!

Thursday: I met Paul Drinkhall yesterday. He's qualified for London 2012, but in Table Tennis, so a very different sport from mine. I played table tennis in school PE lessons but when i say play, i mean attempted to play because each time the ball came my way it ended up the other side of the shcool hall, so the rally didn't last very long and i pretty must lost all of the time! Haha. Not my sport.

And the there's today Friday, of to sheffield! :)

See you later!

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Sooo, last weekend I was in Barcelona racing :) I raced 400IM on Saturday morning and did my fastest heat swim untapered. For all those who don't know what a taper is it's basically when you ease off the hard work in training just before a competition; so things are going pretty well! I also raced a few other events and managed to do a few Personal Best times. :) I used to be a 200 Backstroke swimmer when I was younger and this weekend i forgot how much I enjoyed racing it. Unfortunately I brought home a bit of a tummy bug so it's been a bit of a kick in the teeth! I've been in bed for the last two days not very well at all and Ive heard that a few of the other guys away last weekend have also caught something while we were away. When i travel abroad I take extra care on looking after myself. I eat only foods that look cooked and wash my hands more often to kill the germs but unluckily for me this time I still managed to catch a bug. Today there's 50 days to go until the Olympic Games which means in about 40 days the GB swimming team will be off to London to start our final preparations as a team :) I'm so excited about the Olympics and I've even been getting a few more letters wishing me good luck! Now the Jubilee is over the next big event on the cards is is London 2012 and it seems everyone is getting excited about it! I've been following the Olympic torch around on the Internet occasionally and there are always crowds of people celebrating its arrival! Next Friday I have been asked to welcome the torch to the North East and I am so happy to have been asked. I will try take as many sneaky pictures of possible and I'll keep you all updated on how things go :) Let's just hope I don't do anything daft live on the TV. With my look I'll probably trip when the cameras on me! Ciao!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

We all know exactly what to pack when we're jetting of abroad but when it comes to it, it takes forever! This weekend I'm away in Barcelona competing at The Mare Nostrum series so tonight I've been trying to decide what to take with me! I know the most important thing I need is a racing costume, and I've got that, but everything else always seems to take me aggessss to decide on! what snacks I want is normally the most important thing! (always thinking of food :) Anyway, down to the swimming.. I'm really excited to get away and race this weekend as there'll be some good competition and it's also another practice at getting up early in the morning and racing hard in the heats! At Olympics I'm going to have to pull a magic swim out the bag to final so if I can race well this weekend I'll give my self a confidence boost :) It's not impossible to have that amazing swim at the games as once I'm there anyone can grab one of those 8 places so fingers crossed I'm one of them! This weekend I also get to see, and room share, with one of my best friends in the world of swimming so it'll be nice to have a little catch up while we're there! But obviously, racing comes first! Anyway I'm of to sleep as its late! A swimmers bed time is always early. (well, it is for me) :)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Heyy all!

Training’s been going pretty well recently if you’d like to know. Last weekend I had my first competition since the Trials and it went better than expected. It’s always tough racing in your first meet after a major competition mid-season, as you never know what the result is going to be like, you think – am I fit enough yet, will I be able to finish (even though you know you can), how much is this going to hurt compared to last time and obviously you don’t want to swim terrible in the competition straight after you’ve just done some awesome swims. But luckily this meet went well for me and I’d say surprisingly better than I imagined. I didn’t race in tones of events because of my shoulder, I didn’t want to take another step backwards, but what I did swim i was chuffed with!

Last Friday I suppose you could say I got some ‘fan mail’. There was a letter delivered to my training pool by a little girl called Angel and she had written me a letter wishing me good luck in The Olympics. She drew me a lovely little picture of me standing by the pool in a red costume, but the most adorable thing about the letter was her spelling; she’s crossed out words she’d spelt wrong and said she that she was ‘incouraging’ me to do well, so I thought it was the sweetest thing in the world. I’ve never had anything like this before from anyone so it was absolutely lovely and I couldn’t help but read it over and over again. J It’s strange to think that when I was little I probably sent somebody who I looked up to a good luck letter... Soooo, I decided to reply. I’m sure that nobody ever replied to me and I wanted to tell her I’d read it. I got my little thinking cap on and wrote a letter back, so I’m hoping I get a reply; I might have found myself a little pen pal so fingers crossed! I don’t understand how some people don’t find things like that really cute, and to think that a little girl even bothered to think of me to write a letter to is pretty hard to believe. I hope I’m doing a good job at being a good role model otherwise I’m in trouble!!

On the other hand away from the pool I went to see The Avengers Assemble and I LOVED IT!!! My favourite is Iron Man by far. He is just the coolest dude on the planet, if he was actually real I mean. So if you haven’t seen it I would recommend you do ASAP.
While we’re on the topic of super heroes, the other day I got asked ‘if I could have any super power what it would be?’, and guess what I came up with… My power was to have the ability to click my fingers and be changed. It’s boring I know, but how practical is that?! As a swimmer you wake up - get changed, get to the pool - get changed, after training you – get changed and if you’ve had gym you - change again, so when you think about how many times a swimmer probably gets changed in the day (about 6/7 times) it makes sense! I’m going to throw this out there now, if anyone can come up with a better super power than mine, which I know is going to be really hard to do as mine was so awesome, I think you should post it in the comments and I’ll chose my favourite one sometime next week!

Cheers J