Raquel Matos

Name: Raquel Matos
Degree: Psychology
Nationality: Great Britain
Target: 100m Butterfly
How did you get involved in swimming?
I started training with my first team because my brother progressed on to the club from swimming lessons. I wanted to be just like him so I went for a trial at the swimming club a week later and 10 years later here we are!
How many hours do you train per week?
24 hours a week.
How long have you had Rio in your sights?
Competing at an Olympics has always been a goal since I was a little girl. There is a prestige that seems comes with being in that special group that qualified for such a reputable event.
The first major university swim meet, BUCS Short Course, is coming up. How do you feel your preparation is going? What are some of your goals?
Preparations are going well. I am very excited to race against some of the best in Britain. My goal is to take the titles in the sprint butterfly events. We also aim to challenge Loughborough in both relay events.
How do you balance your university and training commitments?
It can be tough balancing everything out. It definitely hard sitting in lectures after training when you are exhausted and you have to try and keep yourself awake. I would say planning ahead helps me keep on top of everything: making sure I know when everything is due so I don't freak out at the last minute.
Swimming is a high energy sport. With a limited student budget, what do you do to ensure you stay fit and healthy?
Pasta is my life! It cheap, easy to make and super versatile. Its also handy because its a filling lunch I can make for when I am out the house all day. I also carry an abundance of cereal bars with me so I have something to nibble on if I need it.

Having teammates who are going through the same process makes everything 10x times easier, there is always someone who I can turn to when I am feeling a bit stressed who will calm me down and motivate me to keep going.

You can follow Raquel on Instagram and Twitter @raquel_de_matos