9th September 2011 - SkySports.com
I started swimming at about the age of five in a learn to swim scheme purely for water safety. Because I live in the south west and there is the sea and a lot of water around, I needed to be confident around the water.
I took it up, absolutely loved it and have never looked back. That is really why I started. I actually followed my brother into the sport. When he went to learn to swim, him being two years older than me, I had to sit on the poolside watching him and I couldn't get in because I was too young.
My brother was a couple of years older so we used to go to Wales and compete when my brother was 10 and I was eight.
Pretty much every lesson that we went to, I asked the instructor if I could get in too. After a year of asking they said: 'right, yes, you can get in a year early'. My persistence paid off.
In England you couldn't compete until you were 10 but in Wales you can compete at 10 and under. Because my brother was a couple of years older, we used to go into Wales so we could both compete when my brother was 10 and I was eight.
I always had that competitive edge, that nature inside of me. I always wanted to get out and compete but it has never changed from being fun. Even now, at the level I'm at, I still regard swimming as an amazing sport which has brought me a lot.
In the pool, I'll be focusing mainly on the 100m Backstroke for the Olympics. I've not properly sat down and spoke with my coach Ben to go through the programme and work things out exactly - how the schedule pans out, where events fall, if I want to be part of the relays and put myself forward for the medley relay.
We were getting in and out of the pool and people were chanting our names - and this was with only 5,000 or 6,000 people in the crowd
At the last few major competitions, I've been part of the 4x100m Freestyle Relay as well. That could be an option. It is really playing it by ear and seeing what is going to work for me and the team next year.
When we finally get there, I personally don't think I will feel more pressure being at home. I think pressure is a strange thing. I'm sure people will be expecting things but the only person who can really put pressure on yourself is yourself - and so all I can do is train the hardest I can and give it my best shot.
I never really understood the home crowd advantage that football or rugby players always talk about. But I actually felt it for the first time in 2008 at the World Short Course Championships at Manchester's MEN Arena.
We were getting in and out of the pool and people were chanting our names - and this was with only 5,000 or 6,000 people in the crowd. The Aquatic Centre in London is going to have 17,500 people and it is going to be on a different level.
That was the first time the GB team really thought about the home crowd advantage and I thought: 'well, if London's going to be anything like this, it's going to be pretty special'. I'm really looking forward to that feeling.
At the Olympics in London it is going to be massive. It is going to be exciting. There will be multiple sports on TV, all day, every day, for a period of three weeks and hopefully that is going to inspire some kids.