Janet Evans - Olympic icon, mother of two and motivational speaker – has announced that she will be attempting a comeback for the London 2012 Games at the age of 39.
After 15 years without competing, Californian Janet is diving back in and going the distance, training for her first Olympic Games since 1996. She has launched her comeback at the Janet Evans Invitational where she broke Masters records in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle races.
After the 96 Atlanta Olympics, Janet made a smooth transition from sportswoman to professional speaker and mum. In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Janet revealed that she's been training hard for six months in the hope of qualifying for the 2012 Olympics with the US team.
Janet is planning to swim in four events, including the two that made her famous: the 400- and 800-meter freestyles.
"I have to believe it's realistic," Janet said. "I probably couldn't get through the workouts if I didn't. I'm sure there are going to be naysayers out there. That's OK. I certainly know how I feel when I'm in the water. I know what I'm capable of. You can never count me out."
"You can't really take away my competitive spirit," she said. "If I do this, I want to do it well. Over the last few months, I've seen I can manage my life and my schedule while doing this. It has fulfilled my expectations on every level. I feel like I can be back in the game."
She added "I don't feel 39 when I swim, I can tell you that."
Janet is also involved in projects outside the pool, such as Lyfe (Love Your Food Everyday) Kitchen, a new restaurant chain opening in the US that promises healthy choices in a fast-food setting. She will also be joining fellow Olympian Rowdy Gaines for an event billed as the ‘World's Largest Swimming Lesson’, hoping to earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records whilst promoting safety at the pool.
"That's one of the key messages of being an Olympian," said Janet. "There are always going to be people who say you can't do things. The people who don't listen to that are the ones that overcome. Those are the people who succeed."
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016