Rebecca won two gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in the 400 m and 800 m, breaking the 19 year-old world record of Janet Evans in the 800 m final. She is also Britain’s first Olympic swimming champion since 1988 and the first British swimmer to win two Olympic gold medals since 1908. She won bronze medals in the women’s 400 m and 800 m freestyle events in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Rebecca was the first woman to win swimming gold for Great Britain since Anita Lonsbrough in 1960, and the first British swimmer to win more than one gold medal at a single Olympic Games since Henry Taylor won three in 1908.
Adlington set a new British, Commonwealth, European and Olympic record of 8:18.06 in the preliminary heats of the women’s 800 metre freestyle on 14 August 2008. She went on to win the 800 m Olympic freestyle final on 16 August 2008 in a world record time of 8:14.10, her second gold of the tournament, a full six seconds ahead of the silver medalist.
Following her achievements in Beijing, Rebecca was awarded an OBE by her majesty the Queen in the New Years Honours of 2009.
Adlington was voted 3rd in the Sports Personality of the Year 2008 and was awarded the Laureus World Sports Awards ‘Breakthrough of the Year Award’ in 2009. She is also an ambassador for the Encephalitis Society.
At the 2011 World Aquatics Championships Adlington won the 800 metre freestyle gold medal, beating Lotte Friis over the final 50 metres and silver in the 400 metre freestyle behind World record Holder, Federica Pellegrini of Italy.
Rebecca Adlington is renowned for her passionate and enthralling sports motivational speeches. Her natural style and exuberant spirit allows her to set an audience at ease whilst keeping entertained and on the edge of their seats throughout the course of the presentation.