TRIPLE BUTTERFLY OLYMPIAN MISSION
My name is Jemma Lowe; I’m a ‘Hartlepudlian’, now living in Bath. At the ripe old age of 25, I`m now on a mission to represent Great Britain, at, what will be, my 3rd Olympic Games, in Rio 2016.
To date, I’ve competed in:
- 4 World Championships;
- 3 Commonwealth Games- Bronze medal;
- 3 European Championships (Gold & World record – Mixed medley team event)
- 2 Olympic games; Beijing 2008- 6th in 100m butterfly final, 4th in medley relay final. London 2012- 6th in 200m butterfly final.
As with all sports, reward is measured on performance and following the London 2012 Olympics my governing body suffered funding cuts, which has now had a negative financial impact on me.
In order to stay at the top I need to compete on the world stage and perform at international level. This means I have to self-fund for competitions, in terms of travel, accommodation & specialist equipment.
My passion for swimming started at a very early age with my sister. Only just out of nappies, my parents introduced us to water so as to learn the life skill of swimming confidently, at an early age. I seemed to excel in the water and joined Hartlepool swimming club when I was 8 years old……….ten years later, I became an Olympian at the age of 18.
10 year journey to my first Olympics:
- At the age of 17 in 2008, I won the British Championships for the first time, and qualified for the Olympics.
- Moving clubs & coaches looking for continual improvements.
- Training 30 hours a week on land & water, starting at 5am daily.
I couldn’t have reached the Olympics without the support from my amazing family, my coach and my friends. My parents have done so much for me along my journey.
Olympic 08 to Olympic 12 cycle:
- After my experience of my first Olympic Games I was inspired by what swimmers did in the U.S.A and decided to take my swimming career over to Florida University, where, in 2010, I was part of the Woman’s Florida Gators winning team at the NCAAs.
- Unfortunately, the training programme wasn’t working for me and my performance got gradually worse. I learned a valuable lesion in that more training doesn’t always equal a better performance, smarter training does.
- After a disappointing result at the commonwealth Games in Delhi, 2010, I made a difficult decision to return to the UK and continued my swimming career in Swansea Intensive Training Centre. In 2011 I did my first best time in 3 years and was ranked 3rd in the world in the 200fly.
- 2012, I became a double Olympian and competed at a home Olympic Games.
Since then, I have looked at ways to continually improve and moved to the national centre in Bath, where I re-joined my previous coach who I was with from 2001-2008.
At the start of 2013 I had a bad injury that kept me from using my arms for a few months. I had a few disappointments and challenges around that, coupled with a disappointing commonwealth games result in Glasgow 2014.
Taking the knocks and bouncing back is always hard for anyone and in every case, I’ve always tried to come back fighting stronger. My most resent highlight was breaking the World record in the Mixed Medley relay, along with qualifying for my 4th World Championships’ this year.
If you are interested in my journey so far and able to support my `Final mission’ campaign, I would be extremely grateful. If not, you can share my campaign on social media to support and thank you so much for reading my story. I hope it inspires sport lovers to go for their dreams, in the face of adversity, whatever it may be.