Joanne Jackson - Swimming
Born on September 12, 1986 in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England, Joanne “Jo” Jackson is a professional freestyle British swimmer who will represent Team Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Jo has competition in her blood; she is the sister of Nicola Jackson – a now retired Olympic swimmer. Going into 2010, this will be Jackson’s third Games, at only 25 years old.
Although Joanne is considered one of the greatest British freestyle swimmers currently in competition, she is overshadowed by fellow Briton Rebecca Adlington. The two are soft rivals, with Adlington having the better overall record, but after a recent surge by Jackson, 2012 might just bring a changing of the guard.
Although she is relatively young to be competing in her third Olympic Games, Joanne Jackson has nearly a decade of professional experience under her belt. She began her career in 2003 in Barcelona, competing in the World Swimming Championships. And while she didn’t take home any medals, she still turned in an impressive performance and actually lived up to her expectations.
With an older sister who was an Olympian, Jackson thrived off of receiving accolades and awards. After big sister Nicola was asked to represent Great Britain at the 2000 Summer Olympics, Jo just knew that she had to follow in those footsteps. Four short years later, Joanne was representing her country in the Olympic Games.
While her 2003 performances were something to hang her hat on, even without any notable medals to hang up at home, Jackson was extremely disappointed in her 2004 Olympic performance. Failing to get past the heats stage of the events, Jackson finished far out of contention. Jo shook off the disappointment, however, and sought to reverse her fortune in the next big competition.
During the 2008 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Jackson swam her heart out and finished with a silver medal via the 400m freestyle. While this may not have been the gold she was chasing, it was still a big motivating factor in her future success. Jo would make the cut for Team GB again for 2008, and while swimming the 400m freestyle in Beijing, she managed to take home a bronze medal. Still no gold, but a huge improvement over 2004.
Jo really started to come on in 2009. It wasn’t that she was ever a lesser swimmer; the field was just jam packed with enormous talent. But Jackson would catch up as she matured in her technique and became comfortable as a swimmer. She set a new world record in the 400m freestyle in ’09, beating Adlington, and at the World Aquatics Championships that same year, she took home two silver medals and a bronze.
- 2006 Commonwealth Games – Silver
- 2008 Beijing Olympics – Bronze
- 2009 400m World Record
- 2009 World Aquatics Championships – Silver (2), Bronze
- 2010 European Championships – 2nd