Yamilé Aldama: claiming more than gold at London 2012

A lot is said in the Olympics after a great sporting triumph – generally the joy, jubilation and satisfaction that comes after four years of sacrifice and hard work. But what about those who had to wait even longer – whose sporting triumphs are measured not only by their feats but also when you consider their unbelievable persistence, diligence and patience in the face of adversity? The James Magnussens of the world compete with an expectation of success. Thankfully there are athletes who simply do the best they can and compete fully aware of the privilege and honour that comes with being able to represent your country on the biggest stage. No more, no less.

Warning: expecting success generally leads to this

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Australia’s London Awakening

During my University days I had a job lifeguarding at a large swim centre in Melbourne. I’d arrive at the ungodly hour of 5:30am and watch through bleary eyes as the local swim squad did laps for a few hours before they headed off to school. The fact that I was charged with their wellbeing was kind of funny, because I’m a mediocre swimmer. However, it is surprisingly easy to qualify as a pool lifeguard, and it pays well, so I wasn’t about to complain.

“They gave me the job ‘cos I’ve got a pretty sweet cannonball.”

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