Olympic swimmer Annamay Pierse's water confession

The Olympic athlete holds the world record for the 200-m breaststroke. Here, she shares her lifelong dreams and what she'd never admit to

Annamay Pierse swimming breaststroke in pool

Francois Xavier Merit/AFP

Age: 28
Sport: Swimming
Trains: 30 hours a week
Hometown: Edmonton

Annamay Pierse clearly stands out in a racing lineup — she’s the one with the hot pink mani-pedi. She holds a world record for the 200-m breaststroke and debuted in the Olympics in 2008. Annamay fought to qualify for London but was knocked out. “I’m heartbroken,” she says. “But proud for having given it my all.”

Top workout tip:
“Smiling enhances every experience — exercise is no exception.”

Fave stroke? “Breast stroke is the best stroke!”

She’d never admit it, but… “I hate getting wet! We train at 5 a.m. and the water is cold. But after I dive in, I’m right at home.”

Lifelong dreams: “I have an assignment saved from Grade 2 where I wrote, ‘I want to go to the Olympics.’ ”

On her world record: “It was in Toronto, on March 14, 2009. I touched the wall, looked up at my time and in that moment I was best in the world. It made all the good days, the bad days, the sweat, blood and tears worth it.

Her award-winning advice: “Do things for yourself first. Throughout my career I’ve made sure to swim for me, not anyone else.”

Annamay is a brand ambassador for Pantene.