From Tunes to Times That Will Define Cody Simpson’s Chart Topper In This Pool Of Dreams

Cody Simpson, 100m Freestyle Final, 2021 Sydney Open, Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, May 14 2021. Photo by Delly Carr / SOPAC Images. Pic credit is mandatory for complimentary editorial usage. I thank you in advance.
HOLDING COURT: Cody Simpson chatting to the media on pool deck in Sydney today. Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (SOPAC)

From Tunes to Times That Will Define Cody Simpson’s Chart Topper In This Pool Of Dreams

It’s been 12 years since Cody Simpson swam at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre in the Australian Age Championships.

And when he walked in to the “Pool Of Dreams” today and through the Walkway Of Champions” dedicated to the sport’s legends like Dawn Fraser, Murray Rose, Ian Thorpe, Susie O’Neill and so many more Australian swimming legends, Cody too was like a kid in a candy store.

Back when he had bright eyes of being a swimmer and then a musician, Cody Simpson was one of the young kids most likely in the Australian Age swimming ranks.

A kid who had always planned to swim until his 20s and then pursue a career in music later in life.

“But that plan got flipped on its head and it‘s almost gone backwards (in reverse) now,” said the internationally acclaimed pop star who has very much gone back to the future pursing his first love of swimming.

“I always planned on coming back to the sport. The fact that I‘m even competitive already is cool.

“ I didn’t think I’d even be remotely competitive until late next year or even 2023 for that matter and the fact that I’m already up there and racing is good.

“It is fun and I’m ahead of where I thought I’d be already and I’m excited about that….

“As a swimmer, you only have a certain sort of age that it‘s possible to be excellent at it.

“As a musician, you can do it well into your 80s these days so I know I wanted to have a crack before and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life thinking well “What if…?”

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DIFFERENT STROKES: Cody Simpson displays his freestyle talents in today’s C final at the Sydney Aquatic Centre. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (SOPAC)

He has joined the team from Griffith University on the Gold Coast under renown Olympic coach Michael Bohl, and with the likes of Olympic stars Emily Seebohm and Emma McKeon and budding youngster Lani Pallister.

Walking around pool deck here in Sydney is certainly a far cry from the bright lights of LA and New York.

He is just another “new kid” on the blocks – working his way from the outside lanes like washed up baseballers coming back through the Little Leagues to make the Majors.

Simpson qualified for the C final in today’s 100m freestyle, improving his time from 51.93 to 51.62 (in a fun event for him) to finish sixth before preparing for tonight’s 50m butterfly heats where he again improved his time from 24.68 to 24.47 to qualify for tomorrow morning’s 50m butterfly A final in eighth place.

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FLYING HIGH: Cody Simpson in full cry at the Australian Championships. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Sunday will see Simpson line up in his main event the 100m butterfly – the Olympic event he will target for Paris.

“It’s a day-by-day thing and (I know) it’s going to be a long process; we’ve got a good thing going now in our training group……and we’re having a lot of fun,” said Simpson.

“I’m improving rapidly with pbs in training and it’s like that age thing happening’s a rapid progression…”

And he was quick to diffuse any serious talk of Tokyo.

“That‘s always been other people’s expectations of me,” said Simpson.

“It’s funny to see the way people kind of talk it up, which they are going to do naturally, but Japan was never on the cards for me.

“I thought it would be said and done about 12 months ago.

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IN BEST OF HANDS: Cody Simpson gets the drill from Swimming Australia’s Jess Corones, Head Coach Rohan Taylor and personal coach Michael Bohl. Photo Courtesy: Hanson Media.

“The fact that I could even go to the Trials is epic but Paris (2024) has always been kind of the shining jewel for me in terms of where my ambitions and goals lie.

“But, I‘ve been surprising myself time and time again since I started back. So you never know.”

And of the unusual combo of music and swimming I don‘t want to be pigeonholed.

“It‘s important, I guess, in life to compartmentalise and have periods where you can sort of give the effort to different things and different goals and ambitions that you may have,” said Simpson.

Coach Bohl admitted his new addition had just come into the group as one of the kids (as he refers to all his pupils) and given no special favours.

“I think he’s enjoying the anonymity. He’s (actually) really enjoying that,” said Bohl.

“Cody is just one of the guys in there and he’s working really hard. He’s trying to get himself better. He’s taking it very seriously.

“And is under no illusions he’s going to do anything ever, but he’s just trying to be the best he can be and we’ll just see where that takes him.

“He‘s got ability, he’s got talent. He’s a good competitor but there’s no expectations at all for him.

“He‘s just qualified for the National Open Championships so he’s certainly not front and centre in terms of making teams in the immediate term but we’ll see what happens over the next three years because he’s got a lot of improvement to do.”

One thing is certain Cody Simpson is up for the ride and so is his squad and one of Australia’s finest Olympic coaches.

Swimming has certainly adopted the return of a prodigal son…and who knows where it’s going to land….?

Only time and times will tell.