Hannah Mills has second Olympic Games gold in sights as well as launching Big Plastic Pledge
By Sarah Dawkins, Olympics Producer
Last Updated: 19/11/19 12:44pm
Even by November's standards, the weather in Weymouth is atrocious on the day Sky Sports News sits down with sailor Hannah Mills.
"We're leaving this wet and windy weather behind. Thank God we're not sailing today," she laughs.
Fortunately, she can expect better conditions when she competes at her third Olympic Games next summer.
Mills and her partner Eilidh McIntyre were among the first athletes to be selected for Team GB last month.
Preparations for Tokyo are now in full swing, including a training camp in Portugal to acclimatise to the big waves and hot temperatures they can expect on the Olympic waters at Enoshima Harbour.
Competing there for the World Cup series this summer - where they won gold - was a huge challenge.
"We really really struggled actually. We had to look at all our cooling strategies, our hydration. Our hands were just falling apart in the heat and the humidity with the ropes rubbing on them," she said.
"It was a war of attrition out there."
For both Hannah and Eilidh, there is a pressure to perform at Tokyo.
This will be 25-year-old Eilidh's first Olympics but she knows what it takes to become a champion as her father Mike won a gold medal in the Star class at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
"I think I've felt the weight of expectation my entire life," she says, "he's my biggest inspiration, I grew up with him as my hero."
Hannah, six years older than her partner, hopes to become the most successful female sailor in Olympic history by winning gold at Tokyo, adding to the gold she won at Rio 2016 and silver at London 2012.
Both of those medals were won in the 470 double-handed dinghy class with Saskia Clark, who decided to retire after Rio.
Mills considered retiring herself before teaming up with Eilidh which, she says, has given her extra motivation.
She said: "Sas and I had a phenomenal partnership for six years and we knew each other inside out which was amazing but it was the right time for a new challenge and Eilidh came along, really passionate, really excited about sailing with me which was cool.
"The aim is to try and win another gold in Tokyo but it's really hard.
"Everything you do every day is about trying to achieve that, every decision you make, every gym session, every sailing session is about that. But ultimately it is about the process and making sure we get all the pieces in place to be able to perform."
Away from sailing, this duo have another mission on their hands - eradicating the use of single-use plastic in sport.
After being overwhelmed by the amount of waste she saw in Rio, Mills recently launched the Big Plastic Pledge.
The initiative encourages athletes and spectators to commit to a minimum of three pledges from a list that includes using only reusable bottles and cups, metal straws or taking part in a beach clean-up.
The campaign is supported by the International Olympic Committee and Hannah hopes to get every Olympic athlete on board before next summer.
"It's about adding your voice to the growing number of people we're getting to back this so we can go to organisations and events and say look these are the amount of people that watch sport, play sport, enjoy sport that want things to change, let's work together and let's make change."