Composure and positivity – they’re the key ingredients to Tristan Hollard’s attitude, and it’s proving to be a winning combination.
A string of strong performances leading up to this year’s Australian Swimming Trials in Adelaide saw Hollard swim 1:56.44 in the 200m backstroke to go under the qualifying time and achieve his goal of making the Australia Olympic Team.
The 24-year-old athlete will take the international stage as a Dolphin for the first time in Tokyo and will be lining up to compete in one of the most gruelling swimming events in the Olympics.
“The skills are very important. It’s important to focus on keeping momentum and holding your skills underwater and hold your heart rate down so you can maintain yourself through the entire 200; you can burn out too quickly,” he said.
“A lot of people struggle with the back half because they burn their legs and their core, so I’ve really done well trying to even the race out.”
The backstroke specialist spoke to Swimming Australia at the team’s pre-departure training camp in Cairns, saying that his results at trials “flared a fire that hasn’t burnt out yet”.
“That moment when I hit the wall and I saw the time, all I looked for was the ‘Q’,” he explained.
“I’d been quite stressed the days leading in, I hadn’t really touched on it or addressed it, I just pushed it down and then in that moment (post-race interview), it came out as the relief of doing what I knew I could already do; it was more just performing when I needed to perform.”
“The relief of seeing it happen was just overwhelming and happiness flooded everywhere.”
Noting that hard work, perseverance and positivity have played a vital role in Hollard’s success, he says he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support and love of those closest to him.
“There’s an absolute truth to the saying ‘it takes a village’, it takes an absolute city the people behind me,” he added.
“I can’t express enough gratitude to my parents especially, they’ve been the main supporters behind me, especially in the last 12 months things were pretty scant there for a while and I hope I can give back to them with some good memories.
“A lot of the people that were there five years ago when I decided to go for it are still there now and it’s been the most rewarding part to see them enjoying it with me.”
Good luck for Tokyo, Tristan!