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Flash Quote Smorgasbord as Plenty of Swimmers Meet the Press! -- July 26, 2012

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LONDON, England, July 26. IN the last day, plenty of swimmers have taken time out to talk to the press after getting in some last-minute training at the London Aquatic Center. Here are some of the quotes from an assorted range of swimmers and coaches. This includes some exciting news on a viral video from Team USA!

Jacky PELLERIN (FRA) - Iceland coach


On his team's chances to win a medal:
"We usually have a small team. This time we have seven swimmers. We are only 300,000 people and we have two swimmers with the A cut which is very good for us. To be strong we have to be young and we are a young team."

On his feelings here in London:
"London is great. I have really good vibrations in here."

Richard HORTNESS (CAN)

On the progress of his relay team (4x100m freestyle relay):
"We're ready to go. We had a good training camp. We all know what we look like swimming into the wall."

On the teams to beat:
Australia is a force to be reckoned with. After watching their trials there's not too many countries throwing out that many fast times. The USA and France also. If we take time off our personal bests, we'll make it to the final."

On the spirit within the team:
'Really good. We have a lot of veterans and a strong rookie core. We've had great team bonding. There's not one superstar or two superstars, we're all a team collective ready to move forward."

Ryan COCHRANE (CAN)

On whether he can improve on his performance in Beijing and at the 2011 world championships (he was second in the 1500m freestyle):
"That's the plan, to better those performances. I've been saying a lot that I want to stand on top of the podium. I want to hear 'O Canada' more times than we've heard before."

On SUN Yang (CHN), world champion and world record holder, and his other main competitors in the 1500m freestyle:
"I've focused my racing tactics on SUN but there are eight to 10 swimmers who could make the final."

On being at his second Olympic Games:
"I'm more experienced but there are some things that are the same. The pool is always going to be the same. But the (Olympic) village atmosphere is very different to Beijing and I think the crowd atmosphere will be 100% different. I'm just glad that I will have my friends and family in the stands when I swim."

Katerine SAVARD (CAN)

On how nerves and adrenaline affect her racing:
"I like to have lots of adrenaline. I need to be really energised for a race."

On her mental preparation for London 2012:
"I'm excited to race. I'm ready, more than ever. I think about doing the best race I can, technically."

On the most exciting experience for her so far in London:
"To be in London, it has been in my dreams since I was young. To be with different people from different sports is amazing. This is my first Olympics so I'm excited for everything."

Caitlin LEVERENZ (USA)

On how the US team is bonding outside the pool:
"We're making a video to the song Call Me Maybe (by Carly Rae JEPSEN (CAN)). It's going to be released in the next 24 hours on YouTube and it's going to go viral. It's the guys and the girls. I'm doing the producing."

"It's important to do things like this to build team spirit. It's something I have learned from doing college sport. When you swim for your team you experience something much more than just getting on the blocks for yourself. Things like this (video) helps to build atmosphere."

"It's hard to do in a short period of time, but there are lots of things the coaches are doing. This year is probably one of the most cohesive groups I have experienced, and it is only going to help us knowing that we are not just swimming for ourselves."
On the anticipation of the start of the competition:
"I am getting a little nervous but more excited. The nerves will come when I see the Opening Ceremony and see the pool filled with people, but now I'm just taking in lots of different experiences. I got to appear on The Today Show, which was cool."

On her expectations for her races (200m individual medley and 400m individual medley):
"I want a medal. That should be everyone's goal. I want to get up there and race."

On her competitors:
"Both events are pretty stacked. You've got people like Stephanie RICE (AUS), Hannah MILEY (GBR) and any of the US girls. In my events, they're both pretty open fields."

Jeanette OTTESEN GRAY (DEN)

On her preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games:
"I am ready. My preparations were really good. I am happy. I am starting to get nervous."

"I expect to swim really good and do PBs (personal bests) and I hope I break my own records. There are strong fields in all my events. If I just get to the finals I have a chance."

Pierre LAFONTAINE (CAN) - coach

On Canadian swimmers to watch:
"We've got our blue chips for sure. I want the people who need to be on the podium on the podium."

"But I have 31 swimmers in my team. The others, I want them to feel they have made a positive contribution. You want the young ones to go, 'I can't wait to be here'."

On the high-tech swimsuit ban and whether it will affect record-breaking:
"You're going to see some of the best racing, the field is so tight. There's more and more people standing on the block. The quality of the suit allows a keen, even playing field."

Marcus BUCK (GER) -- coach

On the level of competition:
"The competition is very close in a number of events. You can swim the race of your life and not get a medal. I think there will be some surprises in the medals."

"In the relays, especially the medleys, there are so many nations that are close."

On the expectations of the German swimming team:
"STEFFEN (Britta) and BIEDERMANN (Paul) are obviously our star swimmers. I hope that our men's and women's relays can do something and I hope that some of the younger ones can achieve some surprises. We have a lot of athletes here for the first time. For them it's about experience of international competition."

On the atmosphere in the German camp:
"You can feel certain tensions but it is joyful tension. They really want to start swimming."

Gregory MEEHAN (USA) - Estonia coach

On Estonia's only male swimming representative Martin LIIVAMAGI (EST):
"He is very capable of a semifinal performance and that would be great."

On whether LIIVAMAGI, who is studying in the United States, can make further improvements:
"Lots of the best athletes in the world are 27 or 28. He (LIIVAMAGI) is 24 and getting better. Once you have finished college you can focus just on training, not academic work and you have more time to recover and prepare."

On the standard of competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games:
"The level of competition will be outstanding. The venue is very exciting and if you can't get excited about swimming here, you are crazy."

Denis COTTERELL (AUS) -- coach

On how SUN Yang (CHN) will fare in the 400m freestyle against PARK Taehwan (KOR):
"The 400m is one of the highlights of the Olympic Games. It's a classic race with two super competitors. We know the result that we need, we have a plan and it's up to him to execute the plan."

On whether SUN Yang will break a world record:
"Our training has prepared him to do that but, at the Olympic Games, the primary thing is to win, the time is secondary."

On coaching both Australian and Chinese athletes:
"It's not that difficult. Where a swimmer comes from doesn't matter. They all work hard and I want anyone I coach, wherever they come from, to have success."

Fabiola MOLINA (BRA)

On being one of the older swimmers in the competition:
"I think I'm the oldest in the swimming, or maybe the second-oldest. I'm proud to be at this age and stay at such a high level."

"Of course there's always going to be younger kids, that's how life is. That's the beauty of the Games - the difference. I'm 37."

On her goals for the London 2012 Olympic Games:
"It's my third Olympics, so I want to have my best win. I didn't make it to the semifinal last time (Beijing 2008)."

"I'm focusing on improving my time, I've got to drop some time. I need to put in my best effort so I can advance."

On superstitions or rituals before a race:
"Everyone has lots. You've got to listen to music you like, I pray before my races, I talk to my husband."

On support from the team and from family:
"The support is fundamental. My husband is a swimmer too, we train together every day, he helps me, I help him. He's very calm."

"My parents will be here too, they've been to every Games. They've been there for the good times and the bad. I feel really proud to represent them, my country, my city."


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