3 February 2017
Olympia Aldersey says she has very much mixed feelings about her pending move to the National Rowing Centre of Excellence (NRCE) in Penrith.
The requirement that all athletes selected in national teams must commit to being based at the NRCE has been tough for the 24-year-old law student to absorb.
But she is also desperate to make the team for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
"It is really hard,'' she said. "I absolutely love my life here and SASI have been just fantastic - the facilities here are great and everything I need is right there. And I have to sort out my studies (law). But I will commit to the move if I make the team. You just have to really push and just have to go for it.''
Olympia said her experience at the Rio Olympics last year was one she would never forget.
As a member of the women's eight she and her crew were a late-call up to Rio when one of the Russian crews was disqualified before the event for drug matters.
Olympia, who was travelling with the qualified team as a reserve, said the reaction of other athletes at the Olympic Village was stunning.
"The Australian team and others were so welcoming,'' he said. "Everyone said we deserved to be there and even though we finished last we felt like we were winners. At the time there were a few bad things happening (in Rio) so I guess people were just happy that something good was happening. Being at Rio I was so proud and I was proud of our team too. Being at an Olympics just makes you hungry for more.''
This weekend Olympia will compete at the New South Wales state championships. All potential Australian team members must compete at the event. She then heads back to Sydney for the national selection trials from March 13.
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