Buxton's Olympic star Abbie Wood admits it all feels very surreal

Abbie Wood says it’s ‘surreal’ to be heading to her first Olympic Games – after having to be persuaded to give swimming a go.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 9:55 am
Abbie Wood is ready for her first Olympics.
Abbie Wood is ready for her first Olympics.

The 22-year-old recalls how her mum encouraged her to join in sessions at Buxton Swimming Club rather than just sit watching her sister.

“My sister used to swim at Buxton and I just used to sit and watch,” said Wood, during an interview with Swim England.

Wood achieved consideration times for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in both the 200m Individual Medley and 200m Breaststroke.

She added: “I was like ‘I’m not getting involved, I don’t want to do it’. One day my mum said, ‘you’re just sitting around so why not give it a go’?”

Wood progressed from Buxton to Derventio eXcel and is now coached by Dave Hemmings at the Loughborough National Centre.

It will be her second experience of a multi-games competition as she was part of the England team that took part in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Since then, she has picked up a gold medal as part of the record-breaking Women’s 4x100m Freestyle team at the 2021 European Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

But being part of the Olympic set-up is only just starting to sink in for Wood.

“When you’re swimming at a younger age, you don’t really know where it’s going to get you,” said Wood. “If I’d told my 10-year-old self at Buxton that she’d be going to the Olympics, I don’t think she’d believe it. It’s quite surreal.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​"