Gar­vey keeps mov­ing to­wards Rio

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Look Local -

TRIATH­LETE Brant Gar­vey has not yet had the chance to cel­e­brate qual­i­fy­ing for the Rio Par­a­lympics.

The 31-year-old will com­pete in the para­triathlon and said he had ramped up his rig­or­ous train­ing regime in the count­down to Rio in Septem­ber.

“Be­cause I’m so fo­cused on Rio, it was kind of like, tick the box, all right, I’ve got to keep mov­ing, keep train­ing,” he said.

“Af­ter get­ting Aus­tralia a spot, it’s all in, it’s ev­ery­thing, there is noth­ing else.

“It’ll prob­a­bly only be af­ter Rio that I’ll fi­nally be able to sit back and re­flect on it all.”

Gar­vey, who was born with­out his right leg, runs with a spe­cially en­gi­neered car­bon leg, with sep­a­rate pros­thet­ics for swim­ming, cy­cling and run­ning.

The WA In­sti­tute of Sport (WAIS) para­triath­lete, who came sec­ond in the Pen­rith ITU World Para­triathlon event, was the first Aus­tralian above-knee am­putee to com­pete in an Iron­man Triathlon, set­ting a worl­drecord time in 2013.

In the lead-up to Rio, Gar­vey said he starts a 26-hour train­ing week with an 80km ride, an open-wa­ter swim, gym train­ing and an in­ter­val run­ning ses­sion.

“Nor­mally up at about 4am to 4.30am and then get to bed about 11pm,” he said.

His life­long dream of qual­i­fy­ing for the Par­a­lympics has not been an easy ride.

“I’ve al­ways as a lit­tle kid wanted to be able to rep­re­sent my coun­try in the Par­a­lympics and now I’m fi­nally do­ing it at the age of 31,” he said.

“I re­ally had no idea what the process was like when I started and then find­ing out they had made it much, much more elite than I was ex­pect­ing.”

Gar­vey said he would spend a month in Florida train­ing be­fore the Games to ac­cli­ma­tise to the hot and hu­mid Rio con­di­tions.

“The main thing for me is be­cause I wear a pros­thetic leg, re­ally be­ing able to man­age the sweat be­tween the sil­i­con liner that holds the leg on so it doesn’t slip off,” he said.

“It’s a mas­sive risk and some­thing we are try­ing to work out. It hap­pened in the world cham­pi­onships in Chicago – my cy­cling leg fell off as I jumped on the bike and I kind of caught it mid-air and just had to hold it on for the en­tire race.”

Gar­vey said the big­gest chal­lenge by far had been se­cur­ing spon­sor­ship and or­gan­is­ing crowd fund­ing to fund the cost of his pros­thetic legs, which cost up to $20,000 each.

“The fi­nance side of things has just been the most hor­ren­dous or­deal ever; I’ve faced mas­sive amounts of re­jec­tion in terms of spon­sor­ship,” he said.

“We raised just over $20,000 and then HBF came on board (as a spon­sor) af­ter­wards and bridged the gap be­tween what we raised and what I needed to get to Rio.

“The sup­port from ev­ery­day peo­ple has been amaz­ing; there were so many peo­ple that have got on board and given up their cof­fee money. One girl set up a lemon­ade stand and raised $117.10.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d446707

De­ter­mined ath­lete Brant Gar­vey.

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