Some of the Australian Olympic swim team members spoke with the press yesterday about the upcoming Olympic Games. Cate Campbell and Matt Abood were two swimmers who spoke yesterday, with Abood talking about making his first-ever Olympic team and Campbell emphasizing that she does not see herself as a favorite for the 100 free. The Australian swimmers have a few days left at their training camp at Auburn University before they fly down to Rio for the Games.
Read about the Australian Olympic team’s press conference below, courtesy of Swimming Australia:
The Australian swim team went under the microscope in Auburn today when the doors to the University aquatic centre in Alabama were opened to the media for the first time since they arrived en-route to Rio. A large contingent of media arrived from Australia combined with a lot of interest from the local US media following the team’s arrival for their pre-Olympic staging camp.
Head coach Jacco Verhaeren and Team Leader Wayne Lomas were joined by athlete team leaders Cate Campbell and Matt Abood in a formal press conference.
Abood is the oldest Olympic rookie on the swim-team at 30-years of age and said he is not taking anything for granted and is going to make the most of his time in Rio.
“I’ve waited so long and I don’t want to look back on this in 4, 8, 10 years’ time and think, ‘Oh what did you do when you got there? There’s still a job to do, and having waited so long and worked so hard to get there, I’m going to make sure that I do that to my best ability,” Abood said.
While Campbell, who will be off to her third Olympic Games, was quizzed about being the ‘hunted’ in the women’s sprint events, but was adamant she will still go in as the underdog.
“Well when you say I’m the ‘hunted’, I’ve got a dual world champion training next to me every day, sleeping in the bed right next to me every night, in the race in Rio there’s going to be a dual Olympic gold medallist, there’s probably also going to be a world record holder in the 100m butterfly, like who is the hunted? Everyone is the hunted! And so I think that you can never take anything for granted and the great thing about the Olympic Games and why we love it so much is that anything can happen. Crazy things happen. And so you never want to take your eye off the ball and as far as I am concerned, I am the underdog and that’s the way I approach every race and that’s the way you give 100%, you leave nothing in the tank because there is always someone out there that wants it more than you,” Campbell said.
The Australian team photo with BK – the Olympic team’s official mascot front and centre – then drew a lot of attention as “Land Down Under” and John Farnham’s “The Voice” came blaring through the pool’s speakers. It put the finishing touches to Australia’s Olympic preparations for what has been a “sweet home” in Alabama.
The 37-strong Australian team then set about their mid-morning training to replicate the Rio time change and scheduling of the later daily heat sessions. Some athletes will return to the pool tonight and will continue the late night training to mirror the later competition time. They have also been encouraged to wear the special adjustable “night glasses” designed to help maximize sleep and rest time outside their normal sleeping routines.
The team will fly into Rio on Sunday on a Charter flight from Atlanta, arriving at 10.30 pm and will travel straight to the Village to the Village, before a tour and their first look at the Olympic pool.
And the message from wily head coach Verhaeren to his team will be to waste no time “getting some sleep” before their first day in of the Village next Monday.