Five time London Olympic medallist Alicia Coutts may be eyeing retirement but it seems she can’t stop thinking about swimming ahead of the Glasgow Games.
For someone who has contemplated retirement, Alicia Coutts can’t seem to stop thinking about swimming.
Even when the five-time London Olympic medallist sat down to plan her 2015 wedding the sport seemed to creep into her subconscious.
Coutts, 26, has adopted a year-by-year approach despite being inspired by a post-2012 Olympic chat with former champion Susie O’Neill.
However, Coutts appears to have already made her mind up about powering onto the 2015 world titles in Russia – she just didn’t realise it straight away.
“I have scheduled my wedding around the world championships next year. I must be really contemplating contesting the worlds,” she laughed.
“And Rio (Olympics 2016) are only another few months away from that so maybe I can do that – we will see.”
Married life may beckon Coutts but her love affair with swimming is not over yet.
Coutts is fitter and more motivated than ever ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games trials in Brisbane starting on Tuesday.
“After the (2013) world titles I re-evaluated and did a few different things at training so it has given me a little more love for the sport,” she said.
However, it wasn’t so long ago that Coutts was ready to quit.
“I had eight weeks off after London. Next minute you turn around and you have put on 5kg,” she said.
“And when you start swimming again and you are like ‘I really enjoyed just doing nothing, I just want to be normal’.
“That’s probably the hardest point, losing your motivation because you have experienced different things.”
“I spoke to Susie after London and told her I am struggling with motivation and wondering whether to retire,” she said.
“Susie had the same issue after Atlanta (1996) and it took her two to three years to get over it and prepare for Sydney.
“She told me I was too young to give up and that I should keep swimming for at least a few more years.
“She said just to mix it (training) up and make it more enjoyable, and that is what I have been doing.”
Coutts bounced back to grab five silver medals at last year’s world titles.
Now for her latest trick – backing up at Glasgow from her remarkable 2010 Delhi Games five gold haul.
“It was the event that catapulted me onto the world stage so I do find it (Commonwealth Games) very enjoyable,” she said.
Coutts will contest four events at the week-long nationals starting with the 100m butterfly heats on Tuesday.