London (AFP) – Adam Peaty is set to do battle in the pool at the Commonwealth Games for England but the 2016 Olympic champion said he would love to have commanded a naval battle.
The 23-year-old — who is unbeaten in the 100m breaststroke in four years since taking 2014 Commonwealth Gold — admitted that would be one of his wishes if he could travel back in time.
An appropriate choice perhaps for Peaty, who at one point wanted to join the Royal Marines before swimming took over his life — not bad for someone who confesses to hating water when he was a youngster.
“I know how sadistic this sounds but I would love to oversee a naval battle from the 12th or 13th century,” he told ‘The Times’ in an exclusive interview in Monday’s edition.
“Or go back to World War II and have an eagle-eyed view of some of the General Patton battles, maybe the Battle of the Bulge.
“You need a hobby that’s not weird but different from everyone else.”
Peaty, who believes at some point he will lower his world record of 57.13seconds for the event to 56sec, says history was the only subject he enjoyed at school and it is reflected in his choice of his favoured viewing.
“It’s not a film but a series —- Band of Brothers,” said Peaty referring to the critically acclaimed World War II drama, whose excutive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.
“Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved that stuff.
“I wanted to be in the Marines when I was 15, but obviously swimming got in the way, but even at school, on non-uniform days, I’d be dressed in all-green with a hip flask.
“One of my best mates from school is in the Royal Artillery. We said it would be nice to join up together, but I guess we all have different paths.”
Peaty, who has put speeches by Britain’s World War II Prime Minister Winston Churchill on his phone, said on a more peaceful note his septuagenarian grandmother Mavis, who became a social media sensation with her tweets when he won gold in Rio in 2016, would be faithfully watching him compete on the Gold Coast from afar.
“She’s still in her rocking chair every day bless her,” said Peaty.
“She wanted to come to the Commonwealth Games but it’s too far for her at her age, but she will have her flags out I’m sure.”