Q&A: Keeping my focus in 2012
12th January 2012
At her debut major championships last summer, Susie Rodgers threw her name into the hat as a potential Paralympic star as she stormed to five golds and a silver at the IPC Europeans in Berlin. We caught up with the S7 swimmer and found her firmly focused on keeping her feet on the ground ahead of the Paralympic trials.
How long did the buzz last after you returned from Berlin?
When I walked in my team cheered and they were really pleased for me. Some of them had watched it online and they all knew what was going on.
I was quite surprised how many people had got in contact as well. We work in a global office and a few had e-mailed me from other countries saying ‘Oh my god I didn’t know you worked for us.”
Since then my life has changed quite a bit really. I’m now part time at work and I’ve moved jobs.
I’m working on a programme which is about 2012 – the cultural Olympiad – it’s really interesting because it’s the other side of it. It’s not the sports side. So I’m really enjoying that.
Obviously I’m doing more training as well now. I had a bit of an illness in November which was difficult so my training was a bit patchy for a few weeks but I swam pretty well at the National Short Course Champs so things are looking good.
You had a few interview requests and media coverage post-Berlin - is it easy to become distracted by the attention?
It’s not been that bad to be honest. Nothing has reached fever pitch.
At the time it was very heightened and there have been a couple of articles which have been done since Berlin and maybe the odd person has contacted me.
But really, it’s not been busy on that front.
And I’ve always said training comes first. I’ve said no to a lot of things because it’s not appropriate and that’s my focus.
That’s why I’ve got any attention in the first place – because of my swimming. So if I let that go, it’s a bit silly.
You competed in five individual events in Berlin. Are you planning to take on the same number in London?
I don’t know yet. At the moment I’m focusing on five. I haven’t dropped anything.
I think it will be a case of let’s see what happens and see which one I train well in.
The aim is to work on everything really and I’d love to be part of the relay again. That’d be brilliant. We broke a European record in Berlin so it’d be great to do that again in London.
Do other people look up to you as a senior figure on the team even though you’ve only been to this one major championship?
I’m not by any means the oldest but obviously I’ve had a fair bit of life experience. I work. I haven’t just been an athlete so in that respect there are the younger members who do come to me.
I speak four different languages as well and because we travel quite a lot people will ask me oh Susie what’s this and what’s that.
But that’s fine. I like it.
Are you planning to carry on another four years after London 2012?
I’ve not thought about that at all. The only focus for me is the next 12 months or less and just seeing what happens with that. I’ll decide afterwards I guess.