Swimmer inspires stage production
Olympic swimming bronze medalist Cassie Patten has become a muse for a play that is being acted in an old Victorian pool.
Patten, who in 2012 hopes to improve on the 10km open water bronze medal she won at the Beijing Olympics, was among a team of past and present Olympians whose views were used to create Amphibians.
The play is about the challenge of becoming an Olympic athlete.
Patten, of Plymouth, who celebrates her 24th birthday on New Year's Day, said: "I've always loved the theatre so the idea of Amphibians combining sport and art immediately made me want to be a part of it.
"I am training so hard to swim for London 2012 it really means a lot to me to have inspired others, especially when the subject of what happens to former athletes is so important. I cannot wait to see the show."
Underwater footage will be projected on stage as a backdrop at the old swimming pool at London's Bridewell Theatre.
The story traces the lives of three athletes as they prepare for competition as 14-year-olds, goes through the toil it takes on them, and then focuses on life after the Olympics.
Audiences will be seated from the shallow end of the Victorian pool up to the surrounding balcony.
Liz Hughes, founder of London Pools Campaign, said: "In the run-up to the Olympics as we focus on the legacy of the Games, and with so many of London's pools closed and then neglected, it is the perfect time for art and sport to be brought together in a production questioning what is important in British culture - how do we balance the pursuit of excellence against the participation of all sections of society."
Amphibians runs from January 4-28, 2011.