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Understanding what it is like to compete helps Giaan Rooney empathise with competitors
SPORTSCASTER Giaan Rooney has learnt to travel light. Phoning in before the flight that would take her to work at the London Olympic Games, she offered this checklist of what she was taking to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
‘‘Olympic commentator gear, Channel 9 shirts, polos, passport, accreditation – if I forget that I may as well forget it and head off on a holiday,’’ she says and adds: ‘‘Check my head is screwed on properly and, of course, my research notes.’’
Rooney led the 4x100m medley relay team that won gold at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
She returns to the pool to join Grant Hackett and Ray Warren as part of Channel 9’s swimming commentary team.
Rooney reckons Australian swimmers can bring home at least three gold medals from London.
‘‘James Magnussen is a favourite for the 100m freestyle swim, though I wouldn’t rule out his teammate James Roberts in the same event,’’ she says. ‘‘James is sitting on the second fastest time in the world. I’d love to see them come in one and two.’’
She says the Australian men’s 4x100m and women’s 4x200m relay teams should also take gold.
The former Olympic athlete says though she no longer swims she hopes her experience helps her empathise with competitors.
‘‘I don’t think anyone wants to be asked the obvious questions. I try to be aware of people’s feelings.’’
Giaan Rooney and Leila McKinnon meet a British bobby.