Rio 2016: St Albans Olympian makes a splash at kindergarten
PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 July 2016
With just over a month until the start of Rio 2016, a St Albans Olympian took time out of her hectic training schedule to pay a surprise visit to a local nursery.
Synchronised swimmer Olivia Federici, who earlier this month was announced as a member of Team GB, popped into Mount Carmel Kindergarten to talk to youngsters about her sport and the Olympic Games.
While there she showed them her official costume and let them try on her Commonwealth Games silver medal, which she won in 2010.
The 26 year old competed in her first Olympic Games at Beijing in 2008, followed by London 2012.
Although she retired in 2013, Olivia realised after two years away from competition that she missed the sport and successfully trialled for the British synchronised swimming duet squad ahead of Rio 2016.
While visiting Mount Carmel in Sandpit Lane, she gave the children some advice about trying their best at the kindergarten’s sports day.
She had been hoping to make an appearance at the event this month, but unfortunately it clashed with a pre-Olympic training camp in Majorca.
Olivia said: “It was lovely to meet the children who were so excited to find out about synchronised swimming.
“Many of the children told me that they are already learning how to swim which is great because swimming is one of the easiest and best ways to keep fit and healthy.
“My Mum taught me to swim when I was just two years old and I started synchro when I was eight. Without my parent’s support I wouldn’t be where I am today – en route to my third Olympic Games in Rio.”
She said that over the coming weeks, ahead of the August 5-21 Olympic Games in Rio, “our training will step up a gear and we will be focussing on the little details in our routine to make it perfect.
“We have started a phase of physical training which involves repeating large sections of our routine with little rest and while wearing weighted belts. I’m really excited to go to Rio.”
Lucia Federici, Olivia’s mother-in-law and principal of Mount Carmel Kindergarten, said: “We are so fortunate that Olivia took time out of her busy schedule to meet the children and introduce them to synchronised swimming.
“Many of them were in awe of her after watching her routine and one child asked if she was doing ballet underwater.
“People like Olivia inspire our children that they can follow their dreams and achieve anything that they put their mind to.”