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Un­der­stand­ing what it is like to com­pete helps Gi­aan Rooney em­pathise with com­peti­tors

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - Lon­don 2012 Olympic Games: Satur­day, from 5.30am, Nine, NBN Day 1 ac­tion: Satur­day, from 5.30pm, Nine, NBN and Fox­tel’s Lon­don 1-8.

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.

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