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Athletes

Siobhan-Marie
O'Connor
Great BritainGreat Britain, GBR
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
30 November 1995
Height
173 cm
Family
Partner Chris Walker-Hebborn
Residence
Bath, ENG
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age seven, and first competed at age 10.
Why this sport?
"When I was younger I used to compete in gymnastics and really enjoyed that. I chose to pursue swimming when I didn't have time to do both anymore."
Club / Team
Bath NTC: England
Name of coach
Dave McNulty [club], GBR; Bill Furniss [national]
Training Regime
She has two sessions a day, except Wednesdays and Fridays when she trains just once. She swims 12 kilometres a day in addition to gym sessions.

International Debut

Year
2011
Competing for
Great Britain

General Interest

Hobbies
Fashion, travelling, eating out, baking. (dailymail.co.uk, 04 Apr 2018; swimswam.com, 01 Sep 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in the 200m individual medley at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and successfully defending her Commonwealth Games title in the same event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. (teambath.com, 10 Aug 2016; skysports.com, 01 Nov 2018)
Hero / Idol
British swimmer Rebecca Adlington. (bbc.co.uk, 02 Dec 2012)
Injuries
She withdrew from the 2014 European Championships in Berlin, Germany, due to illness. (sportsmole.co.uk, 01 Sep 2014)

In the second half of 2011 and all of 2012 she had problems maintaining her weight. She was later diagnosed with ulcerative colitis that explained the weight loss. (bbc.co.uk, 02 Dec 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"You get out what you put in." (swimming.org, 17 Apr 2014)
Awards and honours
She was named the Professional Sports Personality of the Year for 2016 in Somerset, England. (somersetasa.org, 09 Sep 2017)
Famous relatives
Her partner Chris Walker-Hebborn represented Great Britain in swimming at the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016, and won a silver medal in the 4x100m medley relay at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. (sports-reference.com, 01 Jan 2017)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (skysports.com, 19 Sep 2017)
Other information
POST-RIO ROLLERCOASTER
After winning silver in the 200m individual medley at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro she took a break from swimming, but found it difficult to return to the pool in 2017. She finished seventh in the 200m individual medley at the world championships in 2017, before returning to form at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia where she became the first woman to successfully defend a Commonwealth Games 200m individual medley title. She missed out on a medal in the event at the European championships in 2018, however, and said the "roller coaster" of results since Rio had been a learning experience. "The Brazil Olympics was the best time of my life and it was undoubtedly the most rewarding experience I have ever had. However, getting back into training a few months after that was extremely difficult. It took me a while to find my feet again and to set new goals. I soon got back on track though and soon rediscovered my love for swimming again and I've been enjoying the journey on this four-year cycle in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020. I had my tonsils removed at the end of 2017 and this has helped me a huge amount as I struggled with my health and trying to stay fit for training. I had a very solid and consistent block of training in the lead-up to the [2018] Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April. After the Commonwealths, I had another really good block of work in the lead-up to the [2018] Europeans in Glasgow and I was confident of having a good competition. Unfortunately, my results weren't what I wanted, and nor what I had worked for, but on reflection there is a lot I can be proud of from that season, and I know I will learn lessons and put right some mistakes I made this year [2018] going forward." (skysports.com, 01 Nov 2018; swimming.org, 08 Apr 2018; bathchronicle.co.uk, 26 Jul 2017)

HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENTS
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, she became the first female swimmer from any nation to successfully defend her 200m individual medley title at the Commonwealth Games, after first winning gold in 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2012, at age 16, she was the youngest member of Great Britain's swimming team at the Olympic Games in London. (swimswam.com, 01 Sep 2016; bbc.com, 01 Sep 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 01 Dec 2018; swimming.org, 08 Apr 2018)

MANAGING COLITIS
She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis after the 2012 Olympic Games in London, a condition she manages while competing. In 2016 she met the Great Britain rower Steve Redgrave who also dealt with the condition during his career. "It was one of the best days of my life. He is a sporting legend, so for him to come to talk things through with me made me feel so much better with what I have. It is not a problem. Everyone in sport has something to deal with, whether a long-term injury or anything else. I have an amazing team around me to control it as best I can. He just shows that you can do what you want. He has been through it and he is the best Olympian ever. It shows you can get through it, that was the biggest message." (telegraph.co.uk, 10 Aug 2016)