It may be one of the most disrupted and unusual games in Olympic history, but for the Macquarie students and alumni selected to compete at Tokyo 2020, the dream of competing for their country at an Olympic Games is no less thrilling.
Softballer Rachel Lack was among the first international athletes to arrive in Japan, with the Australian women’s team having been isolating at their base just outside Tokyo since June.
“It still makes my heart beat a little harder thinking about the moment when I found out I was going to the Games,” Rachel says. “The atmosphere here is definitely building and we’re all pretty excited.”
Amy Ridley will be representing Australia in the Paralympics Goal Ball event and agrees that the atmosphere leading up to the games has been electrifying.
“I’m not even sure how to express it – it’s amazing,” she says. “Being selected and having the opportunity to compete at the highest level – it’s beyond words. Whatever happens in Tokyo will be an incredible experience.”
Diver Fan (Esther) Qin will be competing at her second Olympics, having made the finals of the 3m springboard event at Rio 2016 and winning gold for Australia at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
“I’m super excited to be selected for Tokyo,” she says. “Each Games is special and unique in its own way and we had to wait an extra year for this one, so it definitely means a lot to me to be part of this team.”
Pete Boyle, CEO of Campus Life, says the students embody the University’s student success mission.
“Macquarie is proud to support elite athletes through our sports scholars program, which allows them to combine achievement in high performance sport with a tertiary education,” he says.
“Every day, these student athletes show us what hard work and dedication looks like – spending hours training before and after their classes, or completing assignments in the back of a bus while travelling for competitions.
“They are an inspiration to us all and I’m sure the whole University will be cheering on them on with great pride.”
Look out for these Macquarie sports stars when you watch or stream the Olympics (23 July to 8 August) and the Paralympics (24 August to 5 September).
Current student James Boyer has also been selected as an official in the Basketball event.