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Olympia looks to live up to her name

14 June 2011

Born during the Opening Ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, Olympia Aldersey was aptly named by her parents and her destiny was created.

Now 18 years of age, Aldersey is inching closer to realising her life-long dream of living up to her name and becoming an Olympian.

The South Australian took up rowing in 1997 at a talent identification camp and has risen through the junior ranks to now find herself in the Australian squad heading to the 2011 World Championships and hopefully London 2012.

Last year, Aldersey was selected in the Australian Team for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, where she contested the women’s pair alongside Emma Basher.

“The Youth Olympic Games gave me a great feel for how many distractions there are, and I imagine that’s only half of what a real Olympic Games is like,” Aldersey said of her experience.

“Being at the Youth Olympic Games has helped me stay focused and I think it will help me as a stepping stone in London to perform well and achieve my goals.”

Aldersey and Basher had a successful Games campaign, bringing home silver after being pipped at the post by Great Britain in the final.

In the coming months, Aldersey will travel to Amsterdam with teammate Renee Chatterton to contest the pairs event at the Under 23 World Championships. The pair will then continue on to Slovenia where they will join with Kate Hornsey and Pauline Frasca to compete in the women’s four at the 2011 World Championships.

With Australia unlikely to qualify a women’s eight for the London Games, and no four on the Olympic program, Aldersey will come up against five of her teammates all looking to make the women’s pair.

“Having the opportunity to go the Olympic Games next year is amazing,” Aldersey said.

“The anticipation of knowing if you’ll be nominated or be fast enough to get in. Even thinking about experiencing an Olympic Games and life in the Village would be a once in a lifetime experience.”

Alice Wheeler

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