The Commonwealth Games starts on the Gold Coast this week with plenty of sporting action in a wide array of disciplines.
However in Port Lincoln all eyes will be on the pool to see if Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers can follow his 2016 Rio success with more gold.
As Chalmers prepared to swim at the Rio Olympics less than two years ago hopes for the hometown hero were high – it is not everyday a local athlete competes at the Olympics – but expectations were tempered by the fact that making the Australian swimming team was already an amazing achievement and the relatively young swimmer may have more success at future games.
This time around though the pressure will be on.
Chalmers has had some ups and downs since the Olympics with health problems and coming to terms with his new ‘Olympic champion’ status but speaking before the national trials last month he said he was feeling a lot better this season.
He was excited to race and going back to basics.
There is no getting away from the pressure, that’s what elite sport is all about, but the opportunity to compete at a Commonwealth Games in your home country is one not all athletes get to enjoy so hopefully he can make the most of the moment.
Win, lose or draw the Lower Eyre Peninsula community, not to mention the rest of Australia, will be cheering for Chalmers and whatever the outcome there is bound to be a local ratings spike when he hits the water for the first time on Friday for the 200 metre freestyle heat.
The 2018 Teakle Auto Sprint winning driver Dan Day was not the only one to successfully go back to back at this year’s sprint.
The team of organisers and dedicated volunteers behind the scenes also backed up last year’s success with another high quality event.
The big screens in particular were a good example of how learning and feedback from the inaugural event helped make this year even better.
New Tourism Minister David Ridgway was impressed by the size and the professionalism of the event and while he was not the only one he could be a good person to impress if it means attracting some state government funding for the next sprint in 2020 and beyond.