MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Jennifer Martin remembers the moment 30 years ago when her parents first broached the subject of swimming.
“My parents approached me and said, ‘You don’t have anything to do for the summer. Do you want to join the swim team?’” Martin said. “I said sure and I wound up being pretty good at it..”
From there, a love affair with the sport was born. She competed in swimming while at college at Georgia Southern University and the University of North Florida and as she pursued a law enforcement career, she continued competing in the World Police & Fire Games, where she’s taken home 24 gold medals and 38 medals total across 5 Games.
“It’s an honor for me,” Martin said. “It’s an honor to be able to represent the agency, to represent the community of Pembroke Pines and the United States of America. There is no greater feeling than hearing and representing the United States and hearing your name called.”
She recently returned from the Games in China, which were held earlier this month. The Games are held every two years. During the competition, Martin won 5 golds, 4 silver medals and set two world records — one in the 50-meter butterfly and one in the 50-meter freestyle.
“I felt very prepared going into the Games,” Martin said. “I was very pleased with my performance. It’s an amazing experience. It’s an honor to be able to bring them back, sit here with you guys and share the experience with the community.”
Martin is already beginning to train for the 2021 Games and her exercise regimen is not for the faint of heart. She said she trained 3-4 hours each day in preparation for the China Games. That included 90 minutes in the pool and another 90 minutes of weight and cardio work. She also hopes to run in next year’s Boston Marathon.
“A lot of it is fun for me. It’s a break from work. It’s competitive. I like being competitive. I like being fit and living a healthy and fit lifestyle,” Martin said.
She also thanked her family, agency, and friends who supported her throughout the endeavor.