‘I Had No Self-Confidence’- GB’s Wonder Kid Opens Up on Childhood Struggles as She Prepares for Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/17/2021, 10:45 AM EDT
TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 25: People pass an advert for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on March 25, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Following yesterdays announcement that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed to 2021 because of the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, IOC officials have said they hope to confirm a new Olympics date as soon as possible. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Swimmers from Great Britain are more than capable of challenging the USA and Australia in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Adam Peaty is the obvious name that comes to people’s minds. The breaststroke specialist is once again the outright favorite to win the breaststroke event. However, there seems to be a new talent in town- Freya Anderson. The 20-year-old swimmer is an amazing freestyle specialist and looks to make her mark in this year’s Olympics. Despite her swimming talents, the road to redemption was difficult.


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Freya Anderson opened up about her struggles with not being confident enough for the sport she loves.


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Freya Anderson opens up on her confidence issues

The young swimmer spoke to Swimming World regarding the matter.

“I had no self-confidence at that time because I stuck out like a sore thumb. All my friends were short, had brown hair and nice tanned skin and I was just completely different to that. I never got teased for it or anything. I wanted to fit in was the main thing,” said Anderson.

The 6’2 swimmer found it hard to adapt with other swimmers because of how tall she was. But Freya is more than happy now as she prepares for her debut Olympic Games in Japan. She told about regaining her self-confidence back and looks to perform admirably well in Tokyo. Her self-belief rose through the ranks and is confident of putting on a show to win medals for her country.

“Swimming has taught me that no one cares what you look like when you’re swimming, it’s all about how fast you can go, and that has been a real help for me. You’re not going to a fashion show, you’re going to a swimming competition so it doesn’t really matter how you look. There you’re surrounded by all sorts of tall girls as well, so it makes you feel a bit more home,” said Anderson.

The young Brit looks confident and looks set to face her role models in Tokyo.


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Anderson looks to shine at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Despite being young, the swimmer now heads to Tokyo to challenge her idols- Simone Manuel, Cate Campbell, Federica Pellegrini. Moreover, the 100m freestyle event is arguably the toughest race in this year’s Olympics. Anything can happen. Great Britain has not won a gold medal for a women’s individual event since Rebecca Adlington won two gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However, Anderson looks to rewrite history.


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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 11: Simone Manuel of the United States celebrates winning gold in the Women’s 100m Freestyle Final on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

She won the 100-meter freestyle title when she competed in Indianapolis during the World Junior Championships in 2017. Her breakthrough came in the World Championships in Gwangju when she reached the final for the 100m freestyle race. Despite finishing eighth, the experience gained would have been invaluable.

Fast forward two years since that event, Anderson looks to shine in Japan. The ongoing pandemic forced the Games to be postponed to 2021. But these two years have made her better and looks to win the event for her country. Freya Anderson is one swimmer to watch out for during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


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Jacob Gijy

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Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.