Coast swimmer US bound to follow Olympic dream

26 Jun

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By Emily Norman, Bond University journalism student

Swimmer Alexandra Purcell will stay true to green and gold despite moving to the United States in August on scholarship to Auburn University.

Alex, 18, is  the sixth fastest female swimmer in Australia, having swum 50 metres freestyle in less than 25 seconds at the 2012 Olympic trials.

She said that starting her studies in August at Auburn would be a huge change compared to the life and routine on the Gold Coast.

“It will be very different with the college racing… I’m in a totally different country so it’s going to be a lot harder,” she said.

“When I go over to the American college I’ll just be training with them and doing racing for Auburn but I will also come back for the Australian trials every year and make whatever teams I can, so it won’t affect my racing in Australia.”

Her mother Paula said Alex had worked  hard since the age of 10 to pursue her swimming career.

“She’s given up so much along the way too… parties, sleepovers, missed 95 days of Grade 12 and still got a single figure OP.

“She’s raced all around Australia and overseas.”

While Alex says she is very much focused on doing the best she can in the pool, she says there have always been hard moments in her career.

“There have been times when I’ve hated swimming,” she said.

“At the start of this year I was over it, but then racing at the Youth Olympics, I realised how much I love swimming again.”

“They’re pretty much the hardest moments to get motivated cause there’s nothing worse than hating something you spend almost 30 hours a week doing, but my family and friends are very supportive.”

Alex’s next major swimming event is the US Opens- swimming for the Queensland Academy of Sport on July 23.

Caption: Alexandra Purcell and her mum Paula.

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