The Madame Butterfly Challenge
Susie O’Neill challenges Rockhampton swimmers to a race
Following the devastating floods in Queensland, Swimart Rockhampton decided to host a gala event at the end of February, with a barbeque and the support of local radio station 107.9 HOT FM and Swimart Ambassador, Susie O’Neill.
Susie spent the morning signing autographs, posing for photos and mingling with customers who came out to catch a glimpse of the former Olympic Champion, before heading down to the local Rock Pool Water Park where she took on some of the best local swimmers in a racing challenge.
Rockhampton local Aaron Burke, a former Commonwealth Games and World Championships teammate of O'Neill, won the Swimart race, while 13-year old youngster Alana Bowles finished second with O'Neill close behind in third.
Rockhampton's premier swimmer and 2012 London Olympic hopeful, Matthew White, stayed true to his word and swam his specialist breaststroke to finish in fourth place.
Susie told the Morning Bulletin Rockhampton that she had been looking forward to the race and a return to competitive swimming – to a certain extent.
“I try and swim a couple times a week because I like the quiet time and I love the feeling I get after I've swam,” she said.
But as for making a comeback, O'Neill ruled out such a thing. “No, no. I'm not making a comeback,” she admitted.
So what’s Susie’s advice for aspiring Olympic swimmers?
“Believe in yourself and believe you can be the best. The only difference between winning or not winning is generally work ethic. So it just comes down to how much work you want to put into it. Anything’s possible.”