How do you get into the zone?
“There’s a conveyor that takes you up to the start pool and it lasts about 90 seconds. It’s a real quiet time, going out by yourself. That’s where I go through my race plan and visualise myself doing the gates. Then I have three minutes at the start pool, I’m looking around, taking in the atmosphere and saying key focus words like ‘tall and long’ for my posture and stroke.”
How do you stay on your A-game? when you make a race mistake?
“Mistakes happen, it’s normal, I’ve never had a perfect run. What’s most important is not getting too distracted. Obviously, there are massive mistakes in my sport, like missing a gate is a 50-second penalty which is essentially game over, but a two-second penalty or a touch, that’s not the end of the world. I’ll lean forward and get back into my usual strokes as opposed to slumping, because by the time you do that, you’ve lost focus. You can’t let the doubt creep in.”
What has progressed for women in sport since your first Olympics?
“Tokyo will be special because it will be the first time that we [almost] have gender equality at the Olympics, they’re really pushing for 50/50 participation for men and women. We’ll also have the addition of the women’s canoe event for the first time. It’s super
special to be part of that inaugural group of women.”
What are you excited to watch?
“I’ve always been a big lover of swimming so I’m keen to watch Cate and Bronte Campbell, and Ellie Cole at the Paralympics. Surfing will be making its debut and rock climbing as well, which I’m interested to watch!”