My first and last....with Gemma Spofforth
BRITAIN'S Gemma Spofforth enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2009, striking her first World Championship gold in Rome and breaking the 100m world record in the process
CAUSING A SPLASH: Gemma Spofforth breaks into the world swimming elite with a breakthrough performance at the World Championships in July (Getty Images)
Another big season now beckons for the 22-year old ,with the much-publicised Duel in the Pool in Manchester in December before the European Championships and Commonwealth Games next year.
Taking time out from her busy training schedule at the University of Florida, Spofforth chats to Sportsbeat's Chris Cottrell...
My first swimming experience: I've been reliably informed I was first put into the water when I was three and I did my very first lap then!
My first podium: That was probably when I was about seven years old. It's not particularly vivid but it was at the club championships at Bognor Regis. I think it was in breaststroke!
My first win: The first major one that I can remember was at the European Junior Championships in Glasgow when I was about 15 years old.
I had come third in the 100 back the previous day but then I came back and won the 50m back and it was such a great feeling.
I don't really remember that many of the people competing back then but Stephanie Proud, who trains with me in Florida now, was there. But I think Lizzie (Simmonds - Spofforth's friend and backstroke rival in the British squad) would have been too young.
My first Olympic memory: That's not too difficult to answer because I remember it so well.
It was the first time we walked into the student village in Beijing last summer. I remember just being totally overwhelmed by the whole experience.
The swimmers didn't go to the opening ceremony because we were competing early on in the Games but we went to the closing ceremony and it was just an amazing experience. I remember every minute of it so vividly and I don't think I'll ever forget it.
My first injury: That was probably my knees when I was a lot younger. I don't remember how old I was but the breaststroke puts a lot of pressure on your knees and it's kind of a family trait so I had to stop swimming it.
I had a lot of physiotherapy for them but thankfully I was okay to do backstroke so I took things on from there.
My first job: Probably here in Florida as a councillor to some of the younger students - just showing them around the campus and helping them if they need someone to talk to.