Olympian Rebecca Heyliger Reflects On Rio

August 15, 2016

[Written by Don Burgess]

Olympic swimmer Rebecca Heyliger hasn’t decided on whether she will pursue the Tokyo Games.

The swimmer said she was “disappointed” with her performance in the pool in Rio last week in the 50m free after nerves got the better of her.

“I have a mix of emotions thinking about my Olympic experience so far,” Heyliger said. “After my swim I was very disappointed because I know I am capable of going much faster than I did. It is frustrating when you make a single mistake that prevents you from doing your best.

“Watching other sports I’ve seen other athletes go through the same sort of things, a misstep or a false start and just like that the competition is over for us. That’s what’s great and what sucks about the Olympics for the most part you only get one shot.”

She added: “A select few are able to make it happen when it matters most, unfortunately I let my nerves get the best of me and was not one of them.”

Ms Heyliger speaks with the BBC’s Patrick Singleton in Rio:

Heyliger said she didn’t have a “terrible” swim as it was her second fastest time but she had hoped for better.

Now that it’s done she is looking forward to bring a spectator and cheering on Tre Houston [he competes Tuesday morning] and Flora Duffy [who competes on Saturday].

She is enjoying being in the Athletes Village and rubbing shoulders with competitors from all across the globe.

“Twenty-four hours a day there are athletes putting in the work to get better. Whether it’s in the gym, on the courts or on the pool — all are available inside the housing village as well as at the training park and the competition park. As an athlete you can really appreciate what they are doing and working towards.”

She said when the Games are done in Rio she will “get back to training in preparations for Short Course Worlds in December. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to hit the Long Course Worlds Qualifying time for Hungary next summer — the time is even faster than the Olympic cut — so I’ll be working towards that. “

And the 2020 Olympics?

“I have not decided on whether I’ll be going for 2020 yet. Four years is a long time to commit to the sport. I have accomplished a lifelong goal in the pool but there are still a lot of things I want to achieve outside of the pool. I have a general plan but like to leave room for going with the flow.”

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  1. Maddog says:

    Well done! Don’t be too hard on yourself, getting to the Olypmics is a HUGE accomplishment. You are reflecting and learning from the experience, and that in itself is growth and progression. Good job waving the Bermuda flag…it takes major work and sacrifice to get to the Olympics, bask in the glory of knowing that you are one of the top swimmers in the world!