1. ITV Report

Post Olympic blues for Cornish swimmer

Cassie Patten (far right), with Brazil's Poliana Okimoto and Great Britain's Katy Whitfield Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

An Olympic swimmer from Cornwall has admitted that she shut her medal from the Beijing Games away in a drawer and could not look at it after becoming depressed with post-Olympics life.

Cassie Patten took bronze for Great Britain in the 10km open water swimming marathon four years ago, but called time on her sporting career months before this year's Games due to a shoulder complaint. She also almost threw the medal away accidentally when she stuffed it in a bag and did not look at it for months after returning to England as an Olympic hero.

When you come home from an Olympics, it's like coming home from a school camp.

You go from being in this village full of incredible people, you see the Williams sisters - you're in this bubble of having the best time, to coming home.

Yes, I'd won a medal, but everyone gets the post-Olympic blues.

– Cassie Patten, Olympic medallist

Cassie said she was "honoured" to be involved in the recent London Games, where she worked as a TV pundit and was invited to attend events alongside other British medal winners, including Sally Gunnell and Dame Kelly Holmes. But she admits there was a cloud hanging over her at the start of the four-year gap between Olympics.

It's always difficult the year after the Olympics because four years (until the next Games) is such a long time

Training is so hard. People see you on the podium, but they don't see you at 4am scraping ice off your car. They don't see you when your friends are all going out and you're having to stay at home because you're training.

I am not complaining because that's something, as athletes, we choose to do. But to go from this humongous high into the mundane and really hard work as life as a professional athlete, it's hard.

– Cassie Patten, Olympic medallist

Cassie is now working at the leisure centre in Liskeard where she learned to swim as a young girl, coaching adult swimmers and also has plans to start her own sports training business.