Stay healthy, take a break and get ready for a massive 2021 – that’s the message from Swimming Australia’s top brass to the county’s elite swimmers as they recalibrate for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics next year.
As part of the Dolphins leadership group, Bond University Master of Business Administration student, Alex Graham, is in weekly conversations with the senior swimming team.
“The advice is ‘keep yourself healthy and take some time out of the water’,” Graham said.
“It looks like next year will be a really big season with the Olympics and plenty of meets.
“It’s a little annoying because I was hitting fast times and season PBs and it was looking good (for Tokyo 2020).
“It’s a bit frustrating to now have to take a break, but you have to apply perspective – everyone is in the same boat.
“Swimming Australia is doing everything they can. They want to abide by what the government is saying.
"We’ve had chats as a leadership group, and everyone is staying well informed.”
Even though Graham returned to Melbourne to be with his family after hearing about the Olympics postponement due to Covid-19, the Bond swimmer was buoyed by news the Gold Coast could host the International Swim League later this year.
“To have the ISL on the Gold Coast would be absolutely fantastic,” he said.
“It would be super special, not just for the Gold Coast, but for the whole country. I think, if we are in a position to do so, you’d see a lot of interstate travel to come and experience it.
“It would be great to show the international swimmers around the Gold Coast and show them what it is all about, and it would be a great motivational tool for the young swimmers too.
“It was great to have Commonwealth Games here, but to bring out the best athletes in the world is another level again, and for the young swimmers to see them and have them training in the facilities on the Gold Coast would be enormous.”
With no pool access, the 24-year-old is doing his best to stay fit and motivated from his family home in Melbourne, and while he was planning to have a gap year from study during the Olympic campaign, the break has now given him a chance to hit the books instead of the water.
“I can’t do much in way of swimming, I’m trying to keep myself fit because I got myself into pretty good shape prior to the news breaking and I hate to see that fitness wasted,” he said.
“I want it to be less of a slog when I do eventually hit the pool.
“I don’t want my diet to blow out, so I’m still trying to keep a normal routine.
“I’m not doing the early mornings at the moment, which is a nice change, but now I have all this spare time on my hands, I think I’ll knock a few subjects off of the MBA.
“I’m looking at management and leadership subjects. That should help me both in and out of the water for years to come.”