What does a day in your life look like?
One word: exercise. I'm currently preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games and am training between four and six hours a day. Usually, we are in the pool but we also mix up our sessions with weights, cardio and Pilates. If I'm not training, I'm either sleeping or finishing up my last subject at university (Bachelor of Health & Exercise Science.)
You've recently moved back to Sydney, is it nice to be back in the big city?
It sure is nice to be home! I really missed the culture of Sydney and the different types of cuisines. I'm a big foodie and the only thing I could really eat to treat myself on the Sunshine Coast was fish and chips!
Who motivates and inspires you?
I'm fortunate enough to train with two other Olympians (Cate and Bronte Campbell) who are unbelievably hard workers. It's very inspiring to walk into training and motivate each other to push harder and faster.
What would you say to people with a disability who want to become a swimming champion (or any champion, for that matter?)
Firstly, forget that you have a disability, it should never be a factor towards determining if you can be a champion. Growing up with a disability taught me how to be very resourceful and creative with overcoming challenges so I believe that it is, in fact, a wonderful gift to have.
How are you preparing for Tokyo 2020?
The World Championships just wrapped in London, which was a great practice run for Tokyo. Events like this is where we practise and taper our race strategies and fine-tune everything before next year! Now it's about putting what we learnt into action to become even better. It's where we practise and taper our race strategies and fine-tune everything before next year! Now it's about putting what we learnt into action to become even better.
What's been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
Most people think that winning my first Paralympic Gold Medal was the biggest highlight. However, returning to the pool after two shoulder reconstructions is something that I will always be tremendously proud of. I never used my surgeries as an excuse to take it easy and broke my first world record only eight months later. I'm super proud of that.
During your downtime, what are three things you like to do?
First and foremost - sleep. Then I also like cooking up a new recipe or FaceTiming home to my family.
Guilty TV pleasure?
The only TV shows that I watch are The Bachelor and I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
Last time you laughed until you cried?
It was at a really inappropriate joke that I can't repeat (unless you buy me a coffee.)
What's your favourite iconic Australian food?
I heard that a lamington wasn't Australian and it shocked me, but I love those.
Favourite Australian saying?
"Chuck a ueyyyyy."
What does life after swimming look like for you?
Let me finish my university degree first and then ask me...
This article originally appeared in the spring issue of The Suite Life.
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