1 Aug 2018

Brit Aimee Willmott targets Swimming gold as tribute to grandfathers on return to Glasgow

Willmott has relied on family support throughout her career and will have those closest to her in mind when she starts her medley campaign in Glasgow on Friday 3 August.

Aimee Willmott (GBR) will be thinking of her late grandfathers when she sets out on her attempt to add European gold to the Commonwealth Games title she won in Australia in April.

The last time she swam in the pool at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre was at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. She took two silver medals for England, one of them behind Scotland's Hannah Miley (GBR), whom she beat out on the Gold Coast four months ago in the 400m medley.

Willmott has relied on strong family support throughout her career, from her parents and grandparents, and will have that in mind when she starts her medley campaign on Friday 3 August.

Her father Stuart swam for Great Britain at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games and she has twice been an Olympian, in 2012 and 2016.

"The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was the last time both my grandads saw me swim, and now both have passed away," said Willmott, who lost her other grandfather a few weeks ago.

"It will be really nice, nostalgic, to go back to Glasgow and race in a big event and to do it for them.

"My grandad on dad's side was really supportive throughout my career because he did it for my dad, then did it all over again for me. He was always keeping in touch and asking about my times.

"My family are my biggest support network. If I hadn't had so much support from them as a youngster I'd never have been as successful."

Last year, rib, back and knee injuries kept the 25-year-old out of action for many weeks and she "almost stopped completely because I was so miserable". Now she is back enjoying her sport, having moved to Scotland to train at the University of Stirling.