Bundaberg’s Isaac Cooper has booked his ticket to Tokyo after the Australian Olympic Committee last night named him in Australia’s swim team.
He’s one of 21 debutants named in the Australian team following the completion of the Australian Swimming Olympic Team Selection Trials in Adelaide last night.
Isaac swam some personal bests during the trials including the men’s 50m freestyle.
While the 17-year-old has since joined Brisbane’s Rackley Swim Team, he got his start at Fairymead Swimming Club under coaches Paul Simms and Scott Hamlet.
Missing the qualifying time by an agonising 0.09 seconds, it was a tense wait for the young swim star.
“I literally didn’t know until 15 minutes before they announced the team,” Isaac said.
“I was just sitting with my coach and I was thinking I don’t think they selected me – it was too close to the time.
“And then I got a text on my phone saying congratulations you’ve made the Australian Olympic team.
“I went numb. I walked up to my coach showed him my phone and gave him a hug and just walked over.”
Having worked so hard to get to the trials, Isaac said he had put everything in.
“It was just a waiting game.
“For three nights I was just thinking about it and not sleeping.
“When I got the news it was a massive relief – but that doesn’t mean I got to sleep last night!”
Today Isaac goes into orientation with his Olympic teammates and will receive a COVID vaccine before heading straight into training camp.
He said he’s keen, excited and ready for whatever comes.
“It’s such a dream. It’s been a goal for so long,” Isaac said.
“I was not walking into this meet expecting to make the team. It is a massive shock but I’m also ready.
“I think that going for gold is a massive step.
“I do know I’m just going to go there and race my heart out and just improve and see what I can do and see what I’m capable of.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey sent his congratulations to Isaac on behalf of the Bundaberg Region community.
“What an incredible achievement for such a young and dedicated local swimmer,” Mayor Jack Dempsey said.
“Isaac – we want you to know the entire community is right behind you and will be cheering you on as you represent Bundaberg on the world stage.
“And who knows, by the 2032 Olympics we could be cheering you on at Olympic trials and competitions in the region’s very own aquatic facility.”
Isaac said it made all the difference knowing he had the support of the Bundaberg Region.
“I love it – I am one of those people who just feed off of the energy from the crowd and from my friends and family around me,” he said.
“Knowing that my hometown, my swimming family, my family, everyone is going to be behind me, it’s just more motivation.
“I want to give a massive thanks to my coaches in Bundaberg Paul Simms and Scott Hamlet and my swimming family from there, I definitely would not be here without them.”
Local swimmers Toby Street and Connor Simms also contested the Australian Swimming Olympic Selection Trials.