In synch with cel­e­bra­tions

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

OLYMPIAN Deb­o­rah Tsai had a hur­dle to over­come be­fore per­fect­ing her sport of syn­chro­nised swim­ming.

In her own words: she was a dread­ful swim­mer.

“My par­ents got me into ‘syn­chro’ be­cause they thought I was go­ing to break my neck do­ing gym­nas­tics,” Ms Tsai said. “I don’ think they con­sid­ered the fact that I was re­ally bad at swim­ming – but once we got past that, it was good from then on.”

The 22-year-old, who was born in Sin­ga­pore and mi­grated to Perth in 2009, is one of 27 Aus­tralia Day Am­bas­sadors cho­sen by Aus­tralia Day WA. On Jan­uary 26, Ms Tsai, who trains at HBF Sta­dium, will take part in City of Cock­burn cel­e­bra­tions at Coogee Beach, honour­ing the day and pro­mot­ing her beloved sport.

“Our team came 8th over­all at the Rio Games.

“For us, it wasn’t about win­ning medals – we’re not re­ally ‘up there’ in the world – it was more about go­ing with a good team and pro­duc­ing the best swims we could at that point

in time and I think we achieved that goal,” she said.

“As am­bas­sador, a big mes­sage I want to con­vey is: medals or no medals, we were all re­ally proud to be Aus­tralian and to rep­re­sent our coun­try.”

Ms Tsai is also keen to talk about the ma­jor prob­lem of fund­ing in her sport.

“One huge chal­lenge we have had over the years is that we are an un­funded Olympic sport, which means we pay our own way to the Games,” she said. “So if you want to look for a sport where peo­ple are purely do­ing it for the pas­sion, that’s our sport.”

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