Last Updated: 11/04/12 4:48pm
For British swimmer Gemma Spofforth, the Olympic Games this year were very nearly not on her radar until the trials last month.
Having lost her mum to cancer before Beijing, she considered walking away from the pool altogether.
However, the 24-year-old realised just how much the Games, and winning, mean to her, after sealing her spot on Team GB in the 100m backstroke at the British Championships in March.
She told Sky Sports: "To be honest all the way up to the trials I was completely numb, there was so much that I didn't feel, and I put in a compartment somewhere and tried to hide it all. I think after the trials I realised just quite how much I wanted it and how much I enjoyed winning."
The hopeful finds enough motivation from winning yet draws her inspiration from others. She explains: "I worked with a group of about 200 kids, all coming from different places in life and from broken homes; it was so amazing to hear their spirit.
"I realised just quite how much I wanted it."
Gemma Spofforth Quotes of the week
"It puts me back into that enjoyment stage and actually having fun with my sport instead of seeing it as a job."
One aspect of her training which has had to change in the build-up to the Games is her diet. Spofforth openly admits that previously her diet was not that of a typical athlete.
She added: "Before this year, my diet has been a big downfall of mine. I've eaten a lot of chocolate, a lot of ice cream, a lot of sweets. I would wake up in the morning and eat a bar of chocolate, when most people wake up and have cereal and fruit- the right things that an athlete is supposed to eat.
"Before, I could do a certain amount but my body was trying to compensate for everything that I wasn't giving it and now I just feel so much better, so much happier and just alive so I think it's going to give me a lot more come Games time."
With a new outlook on nutrition, and enough inspiration from outside sources, it seems the British swimmer is now firmly on the right track to perform on the world stage in just a few months' time.
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