Pride. Electricity. Excitement.
These are the only sentiments that adequately describe the spectacle that is the 2016 Hancock Australian Swimming Championships. Athletes from all over the country have dawned on Adelaide all vying for that elusive spot on the Olympic team for the Rio 2016 Games and battling against mind and body in doing so. I had the pleasure of attending the championships last night and what I experienced was nothing short of awe inspiring.
With names like Cameron McAvoy, James Magnuessen, Alicia Coutts and Emma McKeon racing finals and semi finals in their respective events the vocal crowd were in for a night of memorable racing and defining moments of careers. The scent of chlorine oozed up from the pool saturating the seats with the distinctive odour that smells ‘Australian summer’ and the music vibrated throughout the arena.
To the surprise of many, I am somewhat of a ‘sports nut’ and I think being Australian has something to do with this. The swimming was something I had never experienced before besides the odd carnival where my friend (and champion) Anasthasia was competing at the local swim centre. The atmosphere could be likened to that of Twenty-20 Cricket, music, dancing and cheering filling the night with an atmosphere almost indescribable through words. But unlike a T20 Game which is over in one night, this goes on for eight days. Eight days where Olympic dreams will be realised and fantasies become realities.
Despite the much hyped dream of a Grant Hackett return to the sport at 35 years of age in the Olympic year falling on deaf ears, one thing is for sure: this championship has so much more to offer. Make sure that you get your tickets here.