SCST gets visit from Olympian

July 6, 2017 by
Filed under: Team News 

Today the Sun Coast Swim Team got an extra special treat as Gemma Spofforth, two time Olympic swimmer (2008 & 2012) and current World Record holder in the 100 backstroke visited with some of the swimmers at the Bicentennial Pool in Crystal River, Florida.

Spofforth is currently a guidance counselor in Levy county schools and is interested in working with swimmers and athletes in the area.

SCST is excited with the prospect of Spofforth working with our swimmers.  Spofforth is not only an international swimming sensation, but she is also a successful student and mental health counselor.  Working with athletes to assist them in being successful in athletics and in life.


The follow is a biography of Spofforth from Wikipedia:

Gemma Mary Spofforth (born 17 November 1987) is an English former competition swimmer who represented Great Britain in the Olympics, FINA world championships and European championships, and England in the Commonwealth Games. Spofforth is the current world record-holder and former world champion in the 100-metre backstroke, and won a total of eight medals in major international championships.

Spofforth was born in Shoreham-by-Sea, England. She had pancreatitis in 2005, taking a year in and out of the water undecided on plans to continue swimming. This was a turning point in her career as she finished up at Portsmouth High School. Her decision on where to attend university rested on whether she would continue swimming.

Spofforth represented 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, coming fourth in the 100-metre backstroke, four one-hundredths of a second (0.04) behind bronze medalist Margaret Hoelzer.  She also came ninth in the 200-metre backstroke.

At the 2009 World Aquatic Championships in Rome, she took the gold medal in the 100-metre backstroke, in a world record time of 58.12 seconds.  Spofforth broke the 100-metre Backstroke world record on her way to winning her first world title in Rome, her time of 58.12 erased previous record holder Anastasia Zuyeva time of 58.48 set in the semi finals of the event.

Spofforth accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she swam for coach Gregg Troy‘s Florida Gators swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and Southeastern Conference (SEC) competition from 2007 to 2010. During her four seasons of American college swimming, she won seven NCAA national championships, including three titles in the 100-yard backstroke (2008, 2009, 2010), three in the 200-yard backstroke (2007, 2008, 2009), and one in the 200-yard freestyle relay (2010), and was a key contributor to the Gators winning the NCAA national team championship in 2010. She received eleven All-American honours and four All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selections, was a two-time SEC champion, and set two SEC records.

She was a member of Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic team, and competed in the 100-metre backstroke event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where she achieved fifth place in 59.20 seconds. After the 2012 Olympics, Spofforth announced her retirement from competitive swimming


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