Jessica Hardy is an Olympic gold medalist and a multiple world record-holder. Jessica currently holds a whopping 12 world records and remains the current holder of several American records. She won a staggering total of 28 medals in major international competitions: 14 gold, 9 silver, and 5 bronze spanning from the Olympics, World, and Pac Pacific Championships. She was elected team captain of the 2013-2015 USA teams. Who better to tell us the details on what it takes to have the focus and dedication to be a word class swimmer? We reached out to Jessica and this is what she said:
- What first inspired you to take swimming seriously?
I didn’t take it very seriously until I was about 16 years old. I enjoyed playing lots of sports, but when my stepdad told me that “someone has to be any Olympian, why can’t it be [me]?” – it finally lit the fire under my butt. I had to realise that Olympians were normal people, and that goal could be realistic for me.
- What have two big moments of your career so far?
Breaking two world records in one race (both the 50 and 100 breaststroke) in 2009 was by far my proudest accomplishment. I also will never forget the feeling walking onto the Olympic pool deck for the first time. Both occasions brought tears to my eyes, which is not an easy feat!
- How do you manage to strike a balance between being a human being and a world class athlete?
I am married to another world class athlete who understands the sacrifice it takes to be the best, but also how important it is to turn that part of your life off and relax. We do a great job at balancing each other out!
- Top tips for keeping focused on your work?
Set short and long-term goals. Short term that you can accomplish within a month or so, long-term for us is once every 4-years.
- What’s next on your Bucket List?
I am currently working on becoming a sommelier, so definitely hope to achieve that by the end of the year!
And finally, can you tell us three short pieces of advice for anybody that’s looking to get into swimming?
1. Find a coach that you can put all of your trust and faith into. Their job is to help you be the best athlete you can be.
2. Have fun with the sport.
3. Swimming is about racing, every single lap, stroke, breath, fingernail – it’s all a (friendly) competition.
For more information on Jessica’s up and coming events check out her website: www.jessicahardy.net.
Jessica, we wish you all the best in your future career, keep on smashing it. Thanks for speaking to us.