Jessica Hardy, a former-Olympian, won the gold medal in the women’s 4 x 100 meter medley relay in 2012 at the Summer Games in London. She also won a bronze in 4×100-meter freestyle that year. Clearly, she is used to the winner’s circle and standing on top for the United States of America. However, she placed sixth in the most-recent 2016 Olympic Games trials, which wasn’t good enough to qualify for the Summer Games.
Now, Hardy is focusing on coming back and is helping encourage other athletes to pick themselves up and continue fighting. The training for swimmers is tough, and unlike any other in professional sport. Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps’ training practices are unheard of.
This reporter had the opportunity to sit down with Jessica Hardy about her time as an Olympic Gold Medalist, her training regimen, and the Jessie Rees Foundation.
Inquisitr: In two sentences or less, simply describe what the Olympic Games mean to you.
Jessica Hardy: “The Olympics are the pinnacle of my sport, swimming. You know, where dreams come true and the world comes together to support each other and make the best performances possible.”
Inquisitr: What comes into preparing for an event like this?
Jessica Hardy: “In the sport of swimming, we are constantly in calorie deficiency. We’re constantly hungry and we are never really up to speed of how much we’ve burnt. The biggest challenge was making sure that I’m eating the right stuff. You know, the healthy food and getting the whole foods, but I recently just found out that chocolate milk is the best recovery drink possible.
“It has high-quality proteins, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients that are actually perfect for rebuilding muscles after a tough workout. I have been drinking it for most of my career, but getting a bunch of scientific evidence that just came out is really interesting stuff.”
Inquisitr: Combining the nutritious aspect to competing against the world’s top athletes, as well as your workout, cross-training is something you’re interested in. Talk about how that fits into your regimen.
Jessica Hardy: “Swimming is a very repetitive activity. I’ve been doing it since I was five and now I’m 29. So, there’s really only so much you can do. I was able to cross-train and add in a bunch of different dynamic activities to help me grow as an athlete and build more strength. It definitely kept it more fun. It did weights, yoga, pilates, spinning and a ton of stuff, nonstop everyday.
“It’s definitely been a lot of fun.”
Inquisitr: What’s your basic outlook on the 2016 Summer Olympics?
Jessica Hardy: “I did not make this summer’s Olympic team. We had our trials last week and I got sixth place in the 100m breaststroke and missed out on the team. I’m calling it a career and I’m super proud to have accomplished everything I have. In London, I won a gold and a bronze, and broke 12 world records and been on the national team for over a decade.
“I’m definitely excited to see the new guard of swimmers coming up, and seeing how excited and passionate everyone is. I’m really looking forward to cheering on Team USA in my new role and transitioning out of the sport.”
Inquisitr: Was winning a gold medal your proudest achievement?
Jessica Hardy: “Absolutely.”
Inquisitr: Moving on from the Olympics, tell me more about the Jessie Rees Foundation?
Jessica Hardy: “Jessie Rees was a swimmer in Orange County, California. She was diagnosed with brain cancer. In her last days in the hospital, she wanted to build jars and fill them with toys to give to her friends so they can have joy in the hospital. So, she built joy jars. She had athletes, celebrities, and musicians come to the hospital and deliver them. It puts a smile on your face. Swimming can be such a selfish activity.
“I just really enjoyed, going in there and seeing other people happy and just enjoying how good life is and making people’s days brighter.”
[Image viai Getty Images]