In synch with celebrations
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.”