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Queen of swim Kirsty targets Rio 2016 Olympic glory

02/07/2014 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
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SEVEN-TIME Olympic medallist Kirsty Coventry has announced she is returning to her usual United States base to begin preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil which could well be her last Olympics.

The “Golden Girl”, who was this week named Econet Wireless ambassador, confirmed her commitment to participating in the Rio 2016 games in a statement to fans on her Facebook Page.

She revealed she would soon leave Zimbabwe, where she has been based since getting married in 2013, for North Carolina to link up with her coach David Marsh and begin her assault for gold in Rio de Janeiro.

“Although I have made the decision to train in the USA, Africa will always be my home and I will continue to represent and support my continent. I will also come home every so often over the next two years,” she wrote.

“I have spent a lot of time in the USA during my career but I haven’t been to Charlotte before and I have no idea what to expect. I know that to do well though, I have to get out of my comfort zone and that is where I’m headed.

“As anxious as I am, I would not be doing this if I was not sure about it and it helps knowing I have an awesome team waiting for me when I get there.

"It also makes all of the difference knowing that I have your support and encouragement with me wherever I go. Thank you to each and every one of you.”

The 30 year-old is set to leave for the US on July 8 and will be training with some of the best swimmers in the world under the SwimMac Team Elite scheme.

“I know that I need to swim against the best in order to be my best and this has influenced my decision to make the move,” she added.

Although the Rio games could be her last Olympics, Kirsty said she was not looking beyond 2016 yet.

“I don’t want to say that Rio 2016 will be my final Games because this adds huge pressure on me. I do like thinking about the fact that I will go from competing at the Olympics in Rio to helping create the Olympics in Tokyo.”

Coventry was recently elected onto the International Olympic Committee (IOC). She also sits on a number of commissions: Athlete’s Commission; Olympic Solidarity, World Anti-Doping Agency and Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“Swimming has always been a focus of mine but I need other responsibilities outside of swimming to ensure that I fully extend my capabilities,” she explained.


“I am committed to ensuring the Athlete’s voice is heard on the IOC and that the IOC continues creating a platform at which the Athlete is always at the forefront.”

On Tuesday, Kirsty was also named ambassador for telecoms behemoth Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.

“It is very exciting for two of Zimbabwe’s leading brands to be working together to positively inspire change across our nation,” she said commenting on the development.

“It is a privilege and honour of which I believe we will complement each other very well as we have very similar values however we are separate identities coming together with different strengths and from different backgrounds.

“I am sincerely appreciative for all of the support and encouragement that I have received and I believe that as we move forward together, we have a great future ahead. Thank you very much for the opportunity and I look forward to making both Econet and my country proud.”

The Coventry Treasury

Olympic Games
  • Gold 2004 Athens 200 m backstroke
  • Gold 2008 Beijing 200 m backstroke
  • Silver 2004 Athens 100 m backstroke
  • Silver 2008 Beijing 100 m backstroke
  • Silver 2008 Beijing 200 m medley
  • Silver 2008 Beijing 400 m medley
  • Bronze 2004 Athens 200 m medley
World Championships
  • Gold 2005 Montreal 100 m backstroke
  • Gold 2005 Montreal 200 m backstroke
  • Gold 2009 Rome 200 m backstroke
  • Silver 2005 Montreal 200 m medley
  • Silver 2005 Montreal 400 m medley
  • Silver 2007 Melbourne 200 m backstroke
  • Silver 2007 Melbourne 200 m medley
  • Silver 2009 Rome 400 m medley
World Championships – Short Course
  • Gold 2008 Manchester 400 m medley
  • Gold 2008 Manchester 100 m backstroke
  • Gold 2008 Manchester 200 m backstroke
  • Gold 2008 Manchester 200 m medley
  • Bronze 2008 Manchester 100 m medley
Commonwealth Games
  • Gold 2002 Manchester 200 m medley

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