Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little known facts and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 – Queensland Government Donates to Paralympic Games Prep
The Queensland Government has donated AUD$320,000 (£179,000/$215,000/€197,000) towards Australia’s preparations for next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo, per Inside the Games.
“The Queensland Government has a strong and proud history of supporting its Para-athletes and has always been a great supporter of our organization,” said Paralympics Australia chief executive Lynne Anderson.
“This funding will greatly assist with the Games planning, preparation, and support for the athletes while in Tokyo.”
#2 – Historic British Swimming Medal on Display
Lucy Morton was Great Britain’s first-ever Olympic swimming female gold medalist when she topped the podium in the women’s 200m breast at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. Now, her special piece of hardware will be on display for the public.
The medal, along with other memorabilia, has sold for £12,255 and will be housed at Blackpool Central Library in Morton’s home town of Blackpool.
Per BBC, the collection was sold by the swimmer’s granddaughter Julia Routledge, who said passing on the items was “emotional” but she was pleased they were going to a good home.
World Series Swims, which is a series of 6 ocean swims in Australia, will be organizing a new 21.5k marathon ocean swim that spans the entire Gold Coast. The race is set for May 30th, starting at Coolangatta Beach and ending at Surfers Paradise.
6-time Olympic medalist Michael Klim serves as an ambassador for World Series Swims and says of the new race, “We have been talking about this marathon swimming concept for a while so we’re excited to be making it happen in 2020.
It allows swimmers from around the world to swim the entire length of this iconic coastline. The finish beneath the Surfers Paradise skyscrapers is spectacular from out on the course – this event is one of a kind.”
#4 – Tokyo Airport Slots Filling Up Ahead of Olympic Games
26 of the 50 new international slots created at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport have been reserved by 7 countries, including China, Russia, and Australia, transport ministry officials said this week. Finland, India, Italy, and Turkey have also been awarded slots.
Per Kyodo News, flights to and from China will receive 8 slots, those to and from Russia and Australia will get four each, and the others will get two each, the officials said, adding that — except for China — the slots will go into service for the first time during the airport’s daytime from 6 a.m. to 10:55 p.m.
The remaining 24 slots had already been allocated to flights to and from the United States, with airlines deciding to which cities they’ll fly.
Haneda is the world’s 5th busiest airport in terms of total passenger traffic and is located about 15 kilometers outside of central Tokyo.
#5 – Kiwi Emma Robinson Retires from Swimming
New Zealand swimmer Emma Robinson has announced her retirement from competitive swimming at the age of 24. The Kiwi first competed for her nation at the Junior Commonwealth Games in 2011 and moved forward with representation at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as a member of the 4x200m free relay, as well as individually in the 200m and 800m free events.
She also competed for New Zealand at the 2017 World Championships and also made her nation’s squad for the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships before withdrawing from the competition due to health reasons.
Reflecting on her career, Robinson said, “I have been lucky enough to be a competitive swimmer since the age of 12. Over that time swimming has given me so much, it has taught me dedication, hard work, trusting the process, leadership, discipline and how to deal with failure just to name a few.
I have also been lucky enough to meet the most amazing people along the way from coaches, teammates, competitors, officials, team managers, Physio’s, sport sciences and SNZ staff. These people have all helped shape who I am and the achievements I’ve have been lucky enough to achieve, and I’d like to thank them all for it.
Moving forward I’m planning on finishing my sports management degree and then move into that field of work. I’m also planning on picking up some running and might even attempt a marathon. I’ve also been lucky enough to be selected as a team manager for the State Teams happening at the end of the month
I’d also like to say while you won’t see me in the water anytime soon, I hope I can still give back to a sport that has given me so much. To all the friends I have met along the journey thank you for the support and encouragement and don’t be a stranger.” (courtesy of Swimming New Zealand)