By Peter Fraser - Follow me on Twitter @SkySportsPeteF. Last Updated: 05/09/11 5:46pm
Tancock: The world champion hopes London will have a positive impact
Despite the London Olympics moving ever closer, swimmer Liam Tancock is not getting carried away by the waves of hype.
The 26-year-old in July retained his 50 metre backstroke world title in Shanghai to ensure Great Britain's swimming team, of which he is one of the most experienced members, finished the Championships on a positive note.
Attention is now turning towards Olympic trials in March and then the Games themselves in the summer of 2012.
For Tancock, it will be a frustration he cannot compete in the 50m, which is not an Olympic event, and will instead have to focus on the 100m in England's capital. But he is not entertaining potential distractions.
"I don't really look at it like being a hero. I do what I do, because I love it. If I can help other people enjoy it too, that's a bonus."
Liam Tancock Quotes of the week
It was incredible in China. They always put on a good show, they did at Beijing. They have a fantastic facility. My week went really well and it was fantastic to come away with the win to become world champion and retain my title that I won two years ago in Rome. It was out of this world. It was a very special moment. No-one has done that in 30 years, so it is quite a feat.
I prefer whatever I am racing that day. I am the sort of person who focuses on one thing and once that is over I will focus on the next thing. When I was at the worlds, it was the 100m backstroke first, so I wasn't even thinking about the 50m. All my training is now geared towards the 100m, because it is an Olympic event, and so I am really looking forward to the coming year.
Always. I think that is just generally the way I am and how I have been brought up. I don't really speak about what I have done in the past of swimming. Even the World Championships, I don't really think about it too much. It is only when people ask me about it. It is not one of those things I openly think about. I am always getting excited about the next big thing. I don't think I will sit back and reflect until I am a lot older. That's the way I have always done it and it seems to be working.
They are obviously very important and the only way to make the Olympic team is to go to the trials, compete well, win and make sure you are on the team. But I think pressure is a strange thing. To have pressure, you have got to accept it. So there is going to be loads of pressure situations, but everybody is in the same boat. It is only if you accept the pressure that you are going to get nervous. I know that what I have done in the pool has been good, so it is just another race, really. Every race I go to, I try to swim as fast as I can and it will be no different next year.
It is incredible, really. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to be of the right age and ability is just amazing. I feel pretty fortunate. I know everyone is really excited about it and I think it is going to be a great thing for not just British swimming, but British sport in general.
It's fantastic. Swimming is such a friendly sport and the Brits are a great team to be a part of. I have been a part of the team since 2005 and the team has really grown and bonded. Everyone is genuinely friends. It is a really nice environment to be in. Everyone is willing each other on. It's great. It is getting better and better. It's brilliant.
It is exciting for all sports. It is all about getting people involved. I think swimming has become a bigger sport. In the past, people used to think of swimming once every four years. But now they are getting more aware of World Championships, Commonwealth Championships and European Championships. People are enjoying it more, there is more media coverage and I think that will keep on growing and growing. Anything can happen at the Olympics. It is going to create role models for young, aspiring swimmers to look up to. To have it in our home country, at prime-time, when people can see it day in, day out, there's nothing better, is there?
No, not at all. If I can aspire anyone along the way, whether it is just to get in the water and have fun or a keen swimmer, that is fantastic. I don't really look at it like that (a hero). I do what I do, because I love it. If I can help other people enjoy it too, that's a bonus.
Liam Tancock was hosting one of a series of 16 masterclasses which give the staff of Holiday Inn, official hotel provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the chance to learn the basics of an Olympic sport. For more details - www.holidayinn.com/london2012
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