Rio 2016 Olympics: St Albans Olympian chosen for Team GB
- Credit: Archant
Three years after retiring from synchronised swimming, London 2012 Olympian Olivia Federici has today (Wednesday) been announced as a member of Team GB at Rio.
Olivia, 26, of St Albans, has proved herself as the comeback queen after she and duet partner Katie Clark, 22, who also retired in 2013, were declared by the British Olympic Association (BOA) as Team GB’s two synchronised swimmers at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The pair will compete in the duet event after securing a quota place for Team GB at the Olympic qualification event in Brazil in March.
Both synchronised swimmers competed in the team event at London 2012 – where they finished sixth – while Olivia also went in the duet event four years ago and at Beijing 2008 alongside Jenna Randall.
The two swimmers had chosen to retire from the discipline after the World Championships in 2013 but returned to the sport late last year and will now be Team GB’s only representatives in synchronised swimming at the Games.
Upon her retirement Olivia switched careers to work as a teaching assistant at Maple Primary School in St Albans, which she ‘absolutely loved’.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Olivia said: “It’s a huge honour to be selected for my third Games and I am relishing the opportunity to compete in that environment again.
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“Having already competed in the pool in Rio we can’t wait to return and show how hard we have worked to improve our routines over the last three months.”
Katie said she was ‘excited’ to be part of Team GB again, and to compete in her second Games.
She added: “We’ve continued to work hard for the whole year and we know this isn’t the end point as we are going to strive to be even better in Rio.”
Mark England, Team GB Chef de Mission, said: “Katie and Olivia are welcome additions to Team GB and it’s great to include another aquatics discipline on the plane to Rio de Janeiro.
“They did fantastically well in March to secure a quota place for Team GB and they fully deserve the chance to compete again on the biggest stage of all.
“Both have competed at Olympic Games before and we welcome that experience and hope it can serve them well in August.”
Karen Thorpe, synchronised swimming team leader, said: “The progress that Katie and Olivia have made since returning to the pool has been really exciting to see and today’s announcement is a testament to their hard work.
“Both athletes competed at London 2012 together in the team event and this has created a strong bond between them that will only work to their benefit in Rio.
“They are the most experienced athletes and are strong role models for each and every athlete on the programme. Katie and Olivia have always shown a desire to improve and get stronger and I know this won’t change as we move closer to the Games.”
• Rio 2016 takes place from August 5 to 21. Team GB is expected to be around 350 athletes from 23 sports.
Olivia Federici’s appearance at Beijing 2008 was the first time Team GB had representation in the discipline since Barcelona 1992.