Chill out! Mum’s got this

Win­ter Olympics golden girl Alisa Cam­plin tells ANNA BRAIN how she’ll jug­gle moth­er­hood with TV duty to bring view­ers the best of the Win­ter Olympics

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - News -

WHILE Aussie ath­letes hurl them­selves off frozen moun­tains in pur­suit of Olympic glory, aerial champ Alisa Cam­plin is un­der­tak­ing her own ex­treme event, jug­gling her role as spe­cial com­men­ta­tor for the Sochi Win­ter Olympic Games and three-month-old baby Florence.

At her photo shoot, Cam­plin per­forms a quick change, feeds Florence and in­hales some lunch over an in­ter­view for her first me­dia gig since the birth.

“I’m do­ing my re­search and read­ing whilst feed­ing,” she says.

“It’s ac­tu­ally a nice re­prieve for me to be think­ing about sport be­cause I do ‘baby’ all day.”

The Win­ter Olympics are a cool re­prieve from long days spent star­ing at blue ten­nis courts and the green grass of cricket.

They’re more scenic than their sum­mer equiv­a­lent, but that’s only half the ap­peal for this for­mer Olympian.

“Ev­ery sport has an el­e­ment of dan­ger, that’s what makes the Win­ter Olympics so cool,” says Cam­plin. “If you fall, you hurt your­self.”

She should know. In ad­di­tion to earn­ing Olympic gold and bronze medals in her sport­ing ca­reer, Cam­plin copped a bro­ken col­lar­bone, busted hand, sep­a­rated shoul­der, frac­tured an­kles, torn Achilles ten­don and had a knee re­con­struc­tion and sev­eral con­cus­sions.

So she’s happy watch­ing from the rel­a­tive safety of the stu­dio in Mel­bourne, while Aus­tralia’s hope­fuls, in­clud­ing Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, Ly­dia Las­sila and To­rah Bright, head to Rus­sia.

“I was re­ally com­fort­able when I closed the door on my own sport­ing ca­reer,” she says. “I was 31 and I was ea­ger to in­vest in my ca­reer and my re­la­tion­ship be­fore be­com­ing a mum, so I felt re­ally sat­is­fied when I fin­ished. When I did the com­men­tary in 2010 (Van­cou­ver) it was al­most as ex­hil­a­rat­ing as be­ing part of it. I get quite emo­tional watch­ing now. I re­ally feel the highs and lows, whereas as an ath­lete I was very tem­pered – so con­trolled. It’s al­most like the world was mono­chrome then and now it’s colour.”

It’s more than a decade since Cam­plin won her first Olympic medal in Salt Lake City. Th­ese days, ath­letes face fresh chal­lenges and dis­trac­tions, such as so­cial me­dia. Cam­plin says ath­letes should ques­tion their mo­ti­va­tion for stay­ing online at a time when all their con­cen­tra­tion is needed. “Per­son­ally, I would

rather min­imise the un­con­trol­lable (el­e­ments), and Twit­ter in­vites the un­con­trol­lable,” she says.

Se­cu­rity is the other spec­tre hang­ing over the Games. De­spite an un­prece­dented spend by the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment, the sit­u­a­tion is be­ing mon­i­tored af­ter bomb­ings in nearby Vol­gograd and threats to tar­get the Games.

Snow­boarder To­rah Bright has said if she has any se­cu­rity con­cerns, she will pull the pin. But Cam­plin trusts the AOC’s judg­ment.

“I think it’s each to their own,” she says. “To­rah’s been to an Olympics and won an Olympic gold medal. Some of th­ese other ath­letes, it’s their first Olympics. Chumpy Pullin, he’s so des­per­ate to get that gold medal; it’s the only thing he hasn’t got yet.

“Peo­ple will pri­ori­tise things based on where they are in their own life.”

Al­though Cam­plin’s at­ten­tion is fo­cused on Olympics duty, she is not let­ting her other com­mit­ments slide. She and hus­band Oliver Warner set a hefty fundrais­ing goal of $75,000 by March this year, for Fin­nan’s Gift – a fund com­mem­o­rat­ing their son, who died of a con­gen­i­tal heart con­di­tion at only 10 days old in 2011.

“It’s go­ing re­ally well; we’re al­most at $60,000,” Cam­plin says.

“I can see we might get there. It’s a big year for us, with Florence. Ev­ery time we look at her we’re re­minded of how spe­cial lit­tle ba­bies are. How amaz­ing it is to have her at home with us.”



FRI­DAY, 10.50PM


Golden team: Alisa Cam­plin with fel­low Win­ter Olympics com­men­ta­tor Steve Brad­bury.

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