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Athletes

Aimee
Willmott
Great BritainGreat Britain, GBR
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
26 February 1993
Height
171 cm
Family
Partner Luke Whitmore
Residence
Middlesbrough, ENG
Occupation
Athlete, Business Owner, Coach
Languages
English
Higher education
Exercise Science, Sport Studies - University of East London: England

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
Her parents taught her to swim at age five. She took up the sport competitively at age nine and won her first national age group medal at age 11.
Why this sport?
She and her sister were encouraged to take up swimming by their father Stuart.
Club / Team
University of Stirling: Scotland
Name of coach
Steven Tigg [club]; Bill Furniss [national]
Training Regime
She trains at the University of Stirling, where she swims six mornings and four evenings per week. She trains at the gym three days a week, and also does pilates and yoga.

International Debut

Year
2008
Competing for
Great Britain

General Interest

Hobbies
Cooking. (Facebook page, 08 Aug 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the 400m individual medley at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. (Simply Swim Youtube channel, 20 Oct 2018; Twitter profile, 05 Apr 2018)
Hero / Idol
Hungarian swimmer Krisztina Egerszegi, US swimmer Michael Phelps, British swimmers Rebecca Adlington, Joanne Jackson and Hannah Miley. (Simply Swim Youtube channel, 20 Oct 2018; swimming.org, 23 Mar 2012; olympics.org.uk, 19 Jul 2010)
Injuries
A knee injury forced her to withdraw from the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. She underwent keyhole surgery in June 2017 to investigate the cause of the injury. (bbc.co.uk, 22 Jun 2017; bournemouthecho.co.uk, 22 Jun 2017)

In 2017 she suffered a compression fracture to her spine and two broken ribs when she slipped and fell on a boat. (gazettelive.co.uk, 12 Apr 2018; theguardian.com, 05 Apr 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Train hard if you want to reach the top. If you don't, you won't achieve. Don't get too nervous before a swim, it's just another swim." (swimming.org, 30 Apr 2014)
Awards and honours
In 2010 and 2016 she was named Sportsperson of the Year by the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette newspaper in England. (gazettelive.co.uk, 25 Oct 2016)

She was named the 2015 British Universities and Colleges Sport [BUCS] Sportswoman of the Year. (swimswam.com, 15 Nov 2015)
Famous relatives
Her father Stuart competed in the 400m individual medley and the 1500m freestyle at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Her sister has competed swimming at national level. (willmottswimskills.co.uk, 01 May 2018; SportsDeskOnline, 11 Aug 2018; swimming.org, 23 Mar 2012)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (pullbuoy.co.uk, 28 Mar 2017)
Other information
COACHING
In 2018 she founded the Willmott Swim Skills school with her father to train swimmers of all levels. "From my success over the years I've had the opportunity to train with different programmes, work with different high-level coaches and doing so I have learnt lots about the sport I love along the way. Now it's my time to give back and share my love and passion for the sport through Willmott Swim Skills." (Facebook page 2, 23 Nov 2018; willmottswimskills.co.uk, 01 May 2018)

SPORTS SCIENCE
She studied sports science at university and wrote an academic paper on the effect clothing worn between a warm-up and competition can have on performance. The paper was published in the European Journal of Sport Science. She concluded that wearing warmer clothing can lead to a boost in performance, a practice she applied at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, where she won a gold medal in the women's 400m individual medley. "I did five years of uni and finished last year [2017] and did my study based on how hot you are before you swim determining how fast you swim. I practise what I preach. [At the 2018 Commonwealth Games] I dressed up really warm and was so hot before [the 400m individual medley] with the nerves and the crowd combined." (theguardian.com, 05 Apr 2018)

OVERCOMING SETBACKS
Her training in 2017 was hampered by the injuries she suffered after falling on a boat, combined with having to relocate her training base to the University of Stirling in Scotland after the Swim England high performance programme she was part of at the London Aquatics Centre was shut down in June 2017. She says the injuries and relocation took a toll on her confidence, and she was not sure if she would make the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. However, she recovered and went on to win gold in the 400m individual medley in Gold Coast. "After the 12 months I've had [2017/18] with two broken ribs, a bashed elbow and knee surgery it was just a huge sigh of relief to get here [the 2018 Commonwealth Games]. To just do the business is incredible. The injury setbacks were really bad to the point where me and my parents couldn't even have a conversation because I was just so stressed. When you break your ribs, you can't really do a lot so from swimming twice a day and gym, to the programme in London closing down and sitting on a sofa for eight weeks it was really hard to deal with. I've learned a lot, gained a lot of confidence and got the enjoyment back. I'd lost that a little bit before." (theguardian.com, 05 Apr 2018)