Swimming star Natalie Coughlin has become an inspiration to girls everywhere, and we were lucky enough to sit down with the 12-time Olympic medalist and ask her a few questions of our own. Natalie let us in on what her plans are once the Games are over, why she has a love-hate relationship with swimming, and whether or not the Olympic Village is really the big party we keep hearing about.View Transcript »
Hi PopSugar, I'm Natalie Coughlin here at the P&G Home in London and thanks for all your support. I train between five and six hours a day. It always varies, it could be two to four hours in the pool. I do weight training and I do pilates, I run, and the combination is just what changes. My Olympic heroes were Summer Sanders and Janet Evans, I looked up to them so much when I was a kid. For after the games, I am just looking forward to going home. I haven't been home in like two months. And just relaxing with my husband and my doggies and just enjoying the peace and quiet. My favorite post workout snack is probably, I make these bars, they are raw, not a raw they're a gluten free bar, that has dried plums, nuts, seeds and coconut. They're super healthy and really delicious. My favorite cheat food is, a bratwurst. I eat very healthily, but when I indulge, I mean the hot dog is my big indulgence. It's disgusting but so delicious. If I could do any other Olympic sport, I think I would love be able to do beach volleyball or track and field. Those are the two that I love watching and yeah are my favorites. The most surprising thing in my gym bag is probably, lip stain. I love lip stain. Before competition I have the same routine. So I've been doing the same Pilates routine for many, many years. And so it's a great way for me to just get right mind set before competing. It it's funny people imagine the Olympic Village to be this giant party where people are just going nuts, and it's been perpetuated a little bit in recent articles. It's a lot more boring than you probably think but I will say the best people watching is in the cafeteria and when Usain Bolt walked in the first time, I thought it was the Prince. Everyone in there started clapping and everyone was getting up and looking who it was and I really thought Prince William just walked in but it was Usain Bolt and his entourage. I love working out, but when the alarm goes off at 4:30 and it's January and it's 40 degrees outside and raining, the last thing I want to do is jump in a cold pool. But once I'm in there and once I'm going is is what motivates me so it it's really just about getting to to the gym and getting yourself actually moving. Once you're in the workout, like you never regret doing a workout. I enjoy celebrating a big win by just going to a fancy restaurant. I love food more than anything and so indulging in a great meal in a nice, relaxing meal, preferably outside. I like the fresh air. It is my favorite way. The exercise I love to hate is swimming. It's something that, you know is not for everybody. You have to be in your own head for so long and and you are staring at that black line for hours and hours and hours of a day. It takes a special personality to be able to be in your own head and to be that focused for so long but, it's something that I've done for almost 25 years. This is not my first time to London. However this is the first time I have really gotten to enjoy London. And just taking the Tube and seeing how much history is here, it's such a beautiful town. I'm looking forward to doing the London Eye. I bought tickets for that, so hopefully between now and closing ceremony, so I'll make it over there. I first dreamt of going to the Olympics when I was 6 years old which was the 1998 games and I remember watching Janet Evans and Matt Biondi and all of my teammates and I were like, "We're going to go to the Olympics someday," but we had no idea what that meant or how to get there or anything that it took to get there but we knew it was a goal that is special. My mom and dad have been such great swim parents. They knew that their role was to be the supporter. They never tried to be my coach. but, they drove me to swim practice. My mom, in particular, would French braid my hair before a swim meet, so it would be easier for me to get my cap on. They were always there. Swim meets are very very long, especially when you're a little kid. They go all day long. So, I'm glad that they put up with the many hours.