Cody Simpson warmed up for his pet event with an impressive first outing at Australian Olympic swimming trials on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old is aiming to complete the remarkable transition from pop star to Olympian as he chases his dream of representing his country in the pool.
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Simpson breezed through his 100m freestyle heat, smashing his personal best in the process. He touched the wall in 50.22 seconds to take a huge 1.5 seconds off his previous best time, putting him 23rd overall after the preliminary heats.
Rio gold medallist Kyle Chalmers topped the charts, finishing in a time of 48.58.
Miley Cyrus’ ex-boyfriend only swam in the 100m freestyle to get himself used to race conditions, and is preparing for a proper tilt in the 100m butterfly.
“Can confirm @CodySimpson was over the moon with his first swim at #2021AusTrials,” sports reporter Phil Lutton tweeted. “Great warm up for his main event the 100m fly.”
A state champion as a junior, Simpson gave up swimming to pursue a career in music but the love of the pool never left and he re-committed to the sport last year, vowing to give qualifying for the Olympics a serious crack.
He didn’t have eyes on Tokyo at first, though. The Queenslander was looking long-term at the 2024 Games in Paris, but stunned everyone — including himself — by swimming fast enough late last year to earn himself a berth at this year’s Olympic trials in Adelaide.
Simpson has been training with former Aussie Olympian Brett Hawke in the United States, and has sought advice from swimming legends Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps in a bid to make his dreams a reality.
“For the last 10 years, I don’t think there was a week or a day that went by that I didn’t still think about swimming or try and figure out when I was going to swim again,” Simpson says in new Amazon Prime documentary series Head Above Water, which was released earlier this month.
“I just knew that I wasn’t done with it. That fire never died in me.
“It was really interesting, going about my business — touring, releasing music and being so wrapped up in this other life and still being like, ‘Is there a pool in this city?’
“It’s hard to put a gauge on or have an expectation when something that doesn’t really have a rule book or a playbook and has never been done before. No one’s really ever stopped swimming at 13 and come back at 24.
“This is absolutely not like a random thing at all. This was nothing that was brought upon by Covid or out of boredom whatsoever. This has been my plan the whole time.”
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