When did you start swimming?
My love for water began when I was three years old — my parents told me I loved being in water. I began swimming at the age of five and then swam competitively for the first time when I was seven.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family...
I have two brothers — an older brother Robert, 27, and younger brother David, 23. My father has always been oceanic. He is enthusiastic about surfing and deep-sea fishing, so we spent a lot of time at the Kenyan Coast when we were young.?
Which schools did you go to?
I went to Kenton College in Nairobi for my primary school and when I turned 13, I went to Marlborough College in the UK for secondary education. I was following in my elder brother’s footsteps.
Why did you decide not to go to a school that specialised in swimming?
When I was at Kenton College, I got the chance to participate in a variety of sports. I have always loved sports, so I participated in rugby, tennis and running. Marlborough College also offered a variety of sports. I did not want to settle on swimming alone, because I didn’t think I would go far in it. In fact, I assumed my swimming career would be over by the time I was 16. I was good at it, but I could not compare with other children of my age in Australia or America.
What made you realise you could pursue swimming?
In my third year at Marlborough College, a business teacher and swimming coach, Peter O’Sullivan, encouraged me to pursue swimming competitively. He was a former Great Britain international swimmer. He made me realise that with dedication, determination and training, I could break boundaries. I then began to think in terms of competing internationally and also making it for the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.
What happened next?