A year after qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Aaron Royle is about to live his boyhood dream of competing in the Olympics. Here, we take a look at his journey over the years and how he’s come to live his dream.
Sixteen years ago, when triathlon wasn’t even an Olympic sport, Royle remembers idolizing the stars of the pool and emulating Ian Thrope and Michael Klim. Fast-forward to the present, Royle is vying for gold.
Aaron was just 10 when the Sydney Olympics took place. He like most common schoolchildren got caught up in the hysteria of the Games.
“I just remember the whole movement, the buzz and hype around what was going on,” he said.
“I was a bit of a swimmer, but me and my mates would pretend to race each other at training. One might’ve pretended to be Ian Thorpe and I was Michael Klim…it was all because of what the Sydney Olympics brought to aspiring athletes.”
The desires to one day wear green and gold continued to burn and it wasn’t until later in life that this dream was further refined to combine three disciplines instead of just one.
Royle spend two month with Brendan Sexton leading into the 2012 London Games.
“Maybe then I was an outside, fringe chance [of qualifying]. I didn’t consider myself a hopeful but that experience inspired me to go to the next Olympics on my own right and experience what Brendan was going through,” he said.
Four years on from London and Aaron finds himself in Brendan’s shoes, having successfully qualified for Rio in September last year at the Olympic test event. Now at 26 years old, it was a disappointing return for Australia’s triathletes as a whole but Aaron’s performance confirmed what he’d dream about for 16 years – he would be an Olympian.
He’s been able to pace himself to peak at Rio, will this put him at an advantage?
Stay tuned for live coverage of both the men’s and women’s Olympic races right here at www.triathlonmag.com.au.
Image by Delly Carr.
Read the full article by editor Keagan Ryan, in the July edition of Triathlon Multisport Magazine.