Australian Championships: Pop Star Cody Simpson Flying Back To The Swim Of Things on The Gold Coast

Cody Simpson

Cody Simpson grew up training alongside Olympians Cameron McEvoy and Thomas Fraser-Holmes at Miami Pool on the Gold Coast and dueling in freestyle with world champion Clyde Lewis.

The Gold Coast local was one of Australia’s emerging young National Age swimming stars – winning gold medals in every stroke at the National Schools and Pan Pac Schools Championships – a National Age champion at 12 and 13.

Cody cadence

CODY’S CADENCE: Cody Simpson goes through his pre-race routine at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

A pathway into Australia’s top echelon of swimming beckoned – following his mum Angie Greenwood and father Brad Simpson – who both wore the green and gold Australian Team Speedos in the pool.

Angie was Miami’s first international on the Pan Pac Team of 1987 after winning the Australian 200m breaststroke title and Brad was a member of the 1994 Commonwealth Games team in Canada.

A swimming connection dating back to the 1960s at the famous Manly Baths with his grand mother Gail Leckie, a talented NSW backstroker, training under Olympic champion John Devitt.

Cody steps up

STEPPING UP: Cody Simpson steps up for his return to the pool. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Simpson, now an international pop star with over six million Twitter followers and almost four million on Instagram, has turned the clock back to the swim kid who had his last swim at National level when he won the Australian Age 100m butterfly title at 13.

Today, 11 years later, at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Cody Simpson lined up in 50m butterfly final at the Australian Open Championships.

Swimming out of Lane 0 – reserved for the 10th fastest and last qualifier in an Australian final – he admitted he was somewhat over-awed to be just two lanes from dual Olympian and world champion Mitch Larkin.

Cody behind blocks

IN THE ZONE: Cody Simpson ready to rock. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

“It’s amazing to be here and to be around all these (Olympians),” said Simpson, who stopped for a chat in the Media Mix Zone at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre after a creditable ninth place.

“Guys I’ve watch race over the last five to ten years since I haven’t been in Australia but keeping up with swimming as a swim fan myself.

“And to be two lanes over from one them (Mitch Larkin) …it’s kind of surreal….not to get in my head too much the fact that I’m racing with guys I’ve looked up to for a long time is really cool and I’m glad to be here and glad to be in the mix a few months before (the) June (Trials).

Cody finish

THAT’S A WRAP: Next stop Sydney Open in May. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

“I’m excited to see what happens when I get some more training under my belt.

“I’m still trying to figure out how to put (my race) together; I’m still a little rusty out of quarantine.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to race this week but I decided to do the 50m to start swinging the arms over and to see how it goes.

“And just happy to make the final in my first meet back that’s good enough for me at the moment – to make an open final first time around is pretty cool and I just need to keep improving as we go.

“I’ve got a long way to go…I’ve come quite a ways in a short amount of time and I’m super lucky to be swimming under (coach) Michael Bohl now and to have the help of Head Coach Rohan Taylor and (sports scientist) Jess Corones and the rest of the team.

“I’m honoured to have their assistance and guidance…hopefully they can help me a little bit more….”

Simpson admitted there were a lot of people who probably had no interest in swimming before he decided on his return to the pool.

“I knew there would be a certain amount of people who wouldn’t have necessarily watched the sport (before) that maybe (will now) because they follow me with (my) other endeavours as well,” said Simpson.

“Me just being a life long swimmer and fan of swimming, I’m excited and if I can bring more eyeballs to the sport if that’s all I do in the next three or four year in the sport then that’s good enough for me.

“It’s my favourite sport and I think it deserves more global (appeal) and the more people and the more personalities are involved in it, then that can only help…. “

Simpson has entered the Sydney Open Meet from May 13-16 before the Australian Olympic Team Trials from June 12-17 in Adelaide.

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