July 28 - Leisel Jones has her sights set being the first Australian swimmer to compete in four Olympics, her mother revealed in London today.


Rosemary Jones joined the mothers of other Olympians, including United States swimmer Michael Phelps, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and English runner Paula Radcliffe, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced a 10-year sponsorship deal with American-based company Procter & Gamble.

At just 24, Leisel has competed in the Games in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, and her mother is already getting emotional at the thought of a fourth where she will be hoping to add to her total of eight medals, including three gold.

"She's really excited and looking forward to London," Mrs Jones said.

"If she makes this Olympics she will be the first Australian swimmer to make four Olympics, so that would be a wonderful achievement.

"That's one of her goals.

"She's just been privileged to be so young to start with the Olympics because a swimmer's lifespan isn't all that great."

P&G plans to celebrate and support the mothers and families who help the athletes achieve their dreams through their Proud Sponsor of Moms campaign.

Mrs Jones, a single-mother who spent endless mornings sleeping in her car while her youngest daughter trained, said it had been an emotional roller-coaster watching Leisel compete, including in Beijing in 2008 where she won two gold medals, including the 100 metres breaststroke.

"It is hard," she said.

"I just looked at the screen and I could see her then, and I just lost it.

"I just fell apart..

"It is, it's very emotional.

"It really is emotional."

Mrs Jones said it was difficult financially to travel around the world to be with Leisel.

But even harder was not being there with her and watching at home - as she will be for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India in October.

"She did stipulate quite early that she didn't want me to go to India for security reasons, so I'll abide by her wishes for that," Mrs Jones said.

"[She's not concerned] for her safety, I don't think at all, but I don't want her worrying about me.

"It will be hard sitting at home though.

"It's much harder, because you've got absolutely no control."

Michael Phelps' mother Debbie Phelps, another single mother of three children, enjoyed every moment of watching her son in Beijing.

She said she saw a lot of her own traits in her champion son.

"I'm a workaholic, absolutely.

"Competition? Absolutely.

"Wanting to one-up people? Absolutely.

"Wanting to be number one? Absolutely.

"I always want to be better, better, better and I see it in all three of my children."

But Ms Phelps said she prefers to stay out of the training details, and could not reveal anything about Michael's preparations for London 2012.

"I haven't the faintest idea," she said.

"I'm just going to get on that plane if he makes the team and come to London and sit in the stands and watch.

"We'll see what happens."

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July 2010:
 Procter & Gamble sign $100 million sponsorship deal with IOC
November 2009: Jones refreshed and sets her sights on London 2012
March 2009: Australian Olympic champion to miss Rome for beauty school