Adlington: London legacy lives on
Rebecca Adlington is confident the legacy of London 2012 is alive and well as thoughts look towards the next generation of Team GB hopefuls.
Four-time Olympic medallist Adlington took part in the Legacy Games Day at the Everyone Active Basildon Sporting Village on Thursday, organised by Fit For Sport, which saw local school children enjoy a series of sports activities and healthy games.
The 25-year-old may have now stepped away from swimming following London, where she added 400m and 800m freestyle bronzes to the two golds won in Beijing, but Adlington is in no doubt the next generation of British Olympians have the perfect platform for sustained success.
"People are all talking about legacy and how we can measure it, what can be done, and that is often negative, but there is so much being done and we are not prasing the things which are happening, like today where we have 1,000 kids from all different schools," said Adlington.
"Yes, there are a lot of centres closing and it is tough when the money is not there, but we have events like these which are amazing and in 10 years time we will see people out there racing saying 'yes, London 2012 inspired me and I joined a sports team', and that is amazing because I never had anything like that.
"When I went to other cities who had hosted Olympics, like in Sydney, people there were saying 'we get to train in this pool every day', when you are having a tough day, you get to see venues like that, and it does inspire you.
"What we have now in this country is places like this and the Olympic Park, which will give people that little boost when they remember all that happened there.
"We never had that when we were growing up, I used to like finding all these venues when I went away to competitions, but now everyone can look at it all, which is amazing."
Adlington is confident Britain has plenty of strength-in-depth coming through, with many Rio 2016 hopefuls set to compete at the Commonwealth Games later this summer in Glasgow.
"It is such an exciting time for all these guys, because it is not just the veterans but some of those who might have missed out on London will get a chance to compete at the Commonwealth Games and to make a name for themselves," she said.
"At the British trials just gone, I saw so many great swims, like from Ross Murdoch, a Scottish breaststroker who was absolutely flying, and Siobhan-Marie O'Connor down in Bath who was amazing, so it is nice to see some of them come through - and what a perfect time to do that, two years from Rio at a home Commonwealth Games."