The Swim Family Miley
25th February 2011 - The Swimming Times
When Hannah Miley was 15, her father and coach Patrick introduced her to a book that he had kept since his own childhood.
Because his family didn’t have a car, his copy of the ESSO 1972 Olympic Album was missing the pictures of Olympians which could only be collected by buying petrol.
She was independent-thinking even at that age and didn’t allow me to push her in that direction
But what it did have in its centre pages was the results of all the swimming events at the Munich Games.
The 11-year-old Patrick had a passion for swimming even then, and had diligently filled them in.
Thirty-two years later, showing the book to his daughter, he pointed out that no less than 10 of her long course PBs would have won gold medals at the 1972 Games.
“It was a reality check for her and me,” he said. “It was 2004 and up to then Hannah had shown precious little interest in her sport.
“She was independent-thinking even at that age and didn’t allow me to push her in that direction.
“I remember struggling to get her to watch a great deal of the 2004 Olympics on TV.
“Showing her that book was probably one of the first times that my behaviour as a coach suggested to her that she should take a look at it.”
Hannah also remembers the occasion. “We still have the book,” she says. “It’s quite significant because it really did open my eyes to see how much swimming has progressed.
“And at that age I felt it was quite a compliment that I could have won 10 medals had I competed at the Olympic Games.
“Obviously that was never going to happen but it made me more interested in the sport. It did motivate me.”