Fran was the youngest member of the English team at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, and after striking gold in the European championships in the 4 x 100 free relay that year, successfully defended the title in Eindhoven in 2008. Fran swam in the Olympic final in Beijing in the 100m free, and then hit top form at the Rome world championships to win silver.
1. How did the other kids at school react to the fact that you were swimming all the time?
They didn’t understand at first why i needed to do so much training , but when I won two silvers at the the Commonwealth Games, they were even more excited than i was.
2. What was the turning point in your career?
Making the Commonwealth Games aged 15. It was my first senior competition and being in races whre world records were borken was so inspiring.
3. What qualities make up a great swimmer?
Being committed, focussed and having a great attitude.
4. Who has inspired you?
My dad, as he has always believed I can achieve anything I want to and it has inspired me to believe I can too!
5. If you weren’t a swimer, what would you like to have been?
I quite fancy politics, even after I’ve finished swimming. Being minister for sport would e an ace job.
6. What fires you up?
Knowing it’s going to be a challenge and having 17,000 people in the crowd really gets me going.
7. What are your pre-race thoughts or routines?
“Come on Fran, you can win this!”
8. What do you enjoy most about your swimming life?
The places you get to go and the amount of great people you get to meet.
9. What is your favourite line from a song?
“If you have the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”
10. What three pieces of advice would you give to a young swimmer that wants to reach the top?
Challenge yourself. Enjoy what you are doing. Stay positive.
Enjoy our snapshots of some of the swimming greats. See what Keri-Anne Payne, Liam Tancock, ,James Goddard and Hannay Miley have to say on their 10 of the BEST. If you have a favourite you would like us to showcase please drop us a line or contact us here.