A BOLTON swimmer, who has overcome the same operation as pop diva Lady Gaga, is hoping to rise through the ranks for the “applause” and Olympic glory.
Emily Barclay, aged 16, had a morale-boosting victory recently when she won gold at the Lancashire Championships for the seventh time in her fledgling career in the 50m freestyle event.
Proud mum Sam Barclay believes the Bolton Metro starlet is looking to leave an impression on British swimming after coming back from a hip injury.
She said: “It was really hard for her.
“Coming back from the injury was massive and to win the Lancashire event was a boost for her confidence.
“She is having to juggle a lot of things including training, competing and her GCSEs.
“She has won the Lancashire championships at 50m freestyle every time she has gone for it.
“It was great because apart from winning the Lancashire event she also won the regionals as well.
“She will be competing at the British Championships in three weeks’ time.
“All she wants to do is to build on her performance at the Lancashire event and improve.
“She would love to go on to university and try to compete.”
Emily has shown tremendous character to realise her dream of being a swimming champion again after the torment of 2013.
Sam said: “Emily was picked for the British Championships to compete at the Aquatic Centre where the Olympians competed in March 2012.
“She got to the finals of the open nationals in June 2012 with a few personal bests.
“But she struggled in 2013 and was not getting her best results from the previous year.
“She was putting up excuses about why her performances were not as good as the previous year.
“It can be very difficult for girls in the teenage years as they have other commitments.
“There are so many teenagers who just think about packing it in but Emily told us she had problems with her hip.
“She went for keyhole surgery and that seems to have worked.
“Emily has shown a lot of grit and determination to come back from her injury problems and win the Lancashire competition.
“Her coach Emma Swanwick has stood by her and worked hard.
“She has said Emily could peak at the age of 24 and could make the Olympic Games in eight years’ time if she can continue to realise her potential.”
Former Bolton School girl Emma, who now goes to Parklands High School in Chorley, will be making a return to where it all began 13 years ago.
“Emily started swimming at the age of three when she went to sessions at David Lloyd in Bolton and soon went on to Bolton Metro.
“The interesting thing is that Bolton Metro are running a link up with David Lloyd and some of the Metro swimmers who started there will be returning again.”