Published: Jul 10, 2012 04:19:02 PM Updated: Nov 13, 2012 10:18:58 AM
After almost four years of preparation there are now less than three weeks to go until the Opening Ceremony and the challenge for athletes and coaches in these last few weeks is to really narrow the focus. Success at the Olympic Games in London will come to those who have prepared to their utmost and to those who can handle the big occasion.
The Olympics is like no other event and around half of our team will be heading to their first Games. Experience at World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacs is important, but there are many more distractions at an Olympic Games which can impede ones focus if allowed. For our experienced swimmers, those who have been to the Olympics before and performed, their knowledge and advice will be important, while for our first-time Olympians the chance to perform at the Games should be embraced, not feared, as they have truly earned it.
History does not discriminate when it comes to handing out gold medals not to a first timer, or a four-time Olympian. John Sieben’s win in 1984 and Duncan Armstrong in 1988 were both the performances of first time Olympians, where both athletes were completely prepared to take on the world’s best and win. Shane Gould’s performance at her only Games in 1972 was also outstanding, especially for someone so young, winning three gold, one silver and a bronze medal, while Stephanie Rice showed that a Games debutant can be one to watch taking triple gold in Beijing in 2008.
Our swim team has a proud history at the Olympic Games, winning more than 40 precent of the overall medals for Australia and with that tradition of success comes expectation. We know that all eyes will be on the pool in those first eight days of the Games, and as Head Coach I know that our athletes, coaches and support staff have done everything they can to get themselves to this point.
The challenge for all of us now is to maintain that focus, concentrate on what is important and on what we can control, and back the preparation. Achieve this, and the performances will come, the exciting bit is seeing where they’ll come from and just who will step up to the pinnacle of our sport.
© 2010 Swimming NSW Site by IMG STG