Geoff Huegill's inspirational comeback can be made into a film. After the 2004 Athens Olympics, he quit swimming, started tipping the scales at 138 kg with his party-going ways, then decided to return to the sport and lost 45 kg to get back in shape for the Commonwealth Games.
The five-time world champion will spearhead Australia at the Commonwealth Games. In a conversation with HT, the 31-year-old says he was unaware of the firing in the Capital on Sunday and isn't nervous about security. Excerpts:
Are you concerned about security?
Not really. It's not my responsibility. It's for the Australian association and the governments of India and Australia to ensure the athletes' safety. Security is not my area of expertise. Until the federation decides otherwise, we will concentrate on what we do best --- swimming. I'm not discouraged by the negative reports as well. It's out of my control. What I can control is my health and training.
Do you plan to do some sightseeing?
Absolutely. It's good that swimming takes place during the first week. That way I'll have time to check out other places.
How are the preparations coming along?
We leave Australia on Saturday for a training camp in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from September 25-30. And then we come to New Delhi. The mood in the camp is upbeat. KL is a good venue and a good opportunity for the squad to gel before the tournament. I am also part of the Leadership Group of the squad.
What does your daily regimen include?
I train for four-five hours every day. This includes a weight session and swimming five-six kilometres.
You decided to make your comeback with the Games?
I think two of the best sporting events in the world are the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. They generate a fantastic atmosphere. The experience of living together in a Games village doesn't come every day. So, I targeted the Delhi Games after the 2004 Olympics and trained for them.
What do you have in mind after the Games?
I'll be competing in the Short Course World Championships in Dubai in December. I am looking forward to the 2012 London Olympics as well. Then, we'll take it from there.