Surf Studio : Episode Seven
On this week’s episode of Surf Studio, we are showcasing some of Surf Life Saving’s talented Olympic athletes to coincide with what would have been the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
First up we to talk to Olympic debutante Jaime Roberts from Mullaloo SLSC in Western Australia about her love of surf lifesaving, paddling and her journey to join the Australian Olympic Kayaking team.
“I was a bit of a late bloomer to kayaking…I was working up north in Pilbara on the mines, driving a truck and listening to the London Olympics and the men’s K4 1000 was racing,” Jaime said.
“I didn’t really know what kayaking was, but I knew a few surf lifesavers that did this sport called ‘kayaking’… and all four in that Australian boat were surf lifesavers.
“I remember listening to the race getting really excited, and they ended up winning Olympic gold which I thought was so awesome.
“I suppose I made the connection going hang on a second…maybe I could go to the Olympics and do something as special as what they have done.”
We then chat with Surf Life Savings’ most successful and decorated athlete, Maroochydore’s Clint Robinson OAM – a five-time Olympian with a complete set of Olympic medals, 36 Aussies Gold Medals, 13 Aussies Open Ski titles and four World Championship kayaking medals.
At only 19 Clint won his first Aussies Open Ski title in 1991 and the next year achieved what most athletes only dream of, winning an Olympic Gold medal at just 20 years-old in the K1 1000M at the Barcelona Olympics, 1992.
Clint went on to dominate the scene at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships for the next decade and a half, winning 13 Open Ski titles between 1991 to 2008, while only dropping two races between 1991 and 2003.
In 1999, Clint eclipsed legendary Ironman Trevor Hendy’s record of 30 Aussies Gold medals, and currently holds the record for the most Aussie gold medals ever won – a staggering 36 gold medals.
A true champion of both Australian kayaking and surf lifesaving, Clint has been inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame, the Surf Life Saving Hall of Fame and was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his achievements.
And finally, we catch up with Tugun SLSC’s Bernadette Wallace who explains how she never thought she was an athlete, she always focused on becoming a champion lifesaver and now, having overcome some significant medical hurdles, is on track to make her Olympic debut in Tokyo next year as part of the Australian Canoe Team.
“I didn’t think of myself as an athlete as a young person, I thought that was my brother and sister and that was their thing… I didn’t think that was for me but what I did really like doing was hanging out with my friends at the surf club and what that turned into was a lot of time on a variety of crafts,” Bernadette said of her start in surf lifesaving.
“We became very competitive at champion lifesaver which turned into being very very competitive at R’n’R… if anyone’s ever done champion lifesaver you need to know everything that is written down in that blue book.
“I think having the work ethic and attention to very fine details as a young person resulted in me winning as an athlete … because I knew the fine details of what I had to do to win.”
To find out more about each of these stories make sure to tune into Episode Seven of Surf Studio this Wednesday night on the SLSA website and SLSA Facebook page.
Surf Studio is regular online show with each episode featuring stories from around Australia and covering a range of topics such as sport, lifesaving, leadership, education etc and Surf Life Saving Australia encourages everyone to be involved. If you, or anyone you know has a story that you would like to share via Surf Studio please email email@example.com