Lenovo Summer Games Blogger

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Almost home

At the completion of all of my events Chantelle found that walking was no longer an adequate way of getting around the village so she bought two of the dodgy fold up bikes that some Chinese guys were peddling (no pun intended here). Mine lasted long enough for the Chinese guys to take their profit and get out of range then the left peddle started falling off. Actually it was still a really good way of getting around the village. I'm not taking the bike home so I'll just leave it here (if it's still outside right now - I'm not chaining it up anymore because we fly home this afternoon).

Whenever I tell someone that I have now finished diving for good they ask me how that feels. It's quite a natural question to ask on the face of it, but if you think about it isn't it odd that people think you would feel different straight away? I feel pretty much the same as I always do, I just sort of know that I won't be going to training or competition anymore.

The closing ceremony was great. I took some great photos. I'll try to post some hereafter.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Team accomodation


Well I have been very happy with my performances in both of the synchronized diving events so far. The results themselves could be considered unlucky, but that is not the way that you look at it when you have done everything you can to perform well and have done just that.

Mathew and I dived very well on the 10m and we finished less than half a point from a medal in 4th position. In terms of our goal of winning a medal this would seem devastating on the face of it, but I was very pleased with the dives that I did (in particular 207B and 5255B - google 'dive numbers' for clarification here) and that's what Olympic competition is all about.

Scott and I dived yesterday and we did five good dives out of six but the wheels fell off on the other one. It only happened in one split second but it was enough to rule out finishing with a medal, which on a good dive we may certainly have done. I was pleased that we were competitive with the best eight teams in the world despite our mistake and I find no merit whatsoever in lamenting the medal that we might have won. In olympic competition there is really no 'may have', there is only a score and a place at the end. I am not disappointed, but rather I am happy that we came back very strongly after our calamity.

I now look forward to and prepare for my last diving event, the 3m individual.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Some good shots

Opening Ceremony and other news

I am not at the opening ceremony right now because we compete too early but I'm on the balcony of our appartment in the village and I can see it on tv and I can see the fireworks live. It was exciting to see the Aussie athletes getting ready to leave the village to march.

Steve Waugh, who is an athlete liason officer gave us some inspiration today when he attended our team meeting (usually reserved for the nuts and bolts of living in this environment). He's pretty cool. Team coach Chava Sobrino is originally from Mexico and had no idea what Steve was talking about because Mexico just doesn't have cricket.

I'm trying not to over-eat in main dining but it's pretty brutal down there. Too much food, all looking so tasty and all just ready to go. Gotta take your will power with you. Wait til after comps to eat all the ice-creams, big macs and such.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Finally in Beijing

Well we finally made it here. It was kind of a relief to get on the plane because preparing was really hard work but now we just have to focus on competing.

We have been in the village for one day now but we haven't stopped doing things since we arrived. First up we went to team outfitting to collect all of the team gear. All we had to come over was the travel shirt (I did wear my own pants too). The gear was top notch and it was really cool getting all of it. The Australian team really has a sense of identity when we're cruising around the village or getting about competition venues.

We've also had team meetings, information sessions a press conference, a function and training. It should settle down over the next day so we can get a little down time before comps start.

The village itself is great. We're in a great position, near main dining and the transport mall. I'm writing this from the super resident centre which is also close to our appartment. They have a wi-fi hotspot here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What do you mean chickenpox?

When Jet appeared from his bed on sunday morning he looked very much like he had chickenpox. I was able to use all of my clinical skills to suppose vaguely that it might just be chickenpox. Mum said it probably was chickenpox. I didn't worry because both mum and I have had chickenpox and are therefore immune. Chantelle told us she didn't think she had had chickenpox before.

This was slightly worrying becuase if she contracted this infectious virus the symptoms would manifest right about when she would compete. Talk about good timing. Also it's a more serious condition in an adult than a child. Chantelle had to go straight to hospital to get a blood test to determine her immunity. An injection of immunoglobulins was also recommended, but last sunday was the exact date that the 'in competition' period began (for drug testing purposes) and immunoglobulins are classed as a blood product and athletes may not have them during competition (talk about good timing again).

Anyway, the upshot of the whole drama was that Chantelle turned out to be immune to chickenpox (but not as immune as she is to listening to what I say...ha ha ha...don't read that last bit Chantelle, ok?). We're all going to have a pox free Games and the only problem is that mum will have to have Jet home from school all day long. Sorry mum. Also Jet will be missing some school and I'm a big fan of a solid education (even more important than sports!!!) but I'm sure he'll catch up.

Here is an example of what some training looks like

Monday, July 21, 2008

All athletes must contend with being injured from time to time. Then there is the sometimes lengthy process of rehabilitation back to peak physical condition. I have personally overcome this situation by being in a permanent state of injury. You really know where you stand that way - you know, it sort of eliminates the 'getting injured' part.

No, I'm just kidding. I really like joking about how old I am now even though I'm only 29. I'm not in too bad a shape but the dives aren't as easy as when I was younger. Actually I'm really enjoying preparing for this Games even with the self infliction of pain factor.

I've had more energy of late because we're getting heaps of help with the kids. Thanks mum! Sometimes I do wonder if making another bid for the Games was the right choice. I deferred my bachelor of medicine/surgery at UQ for a year to do this. Of course it was the right decision! It's only one year and I'll never be able to do all this again. You only get away with diving 10m for so long, so I've got to get away with as much as I can right now!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Today I practiced 3m synchro with Scott. Then I had my hair fashioned into a Beckam style faux-hawk. Thanks Donna. You don't need a haircut inspired by a prominent sportsperson to go to the Olympics but it can't hurt. We do everything we can.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Many people are saying things to me such as: "you must be excited about the Games". Well, I am a bit....but I didn't know it was so compulsory. Everyone seems to be so excited about getting excited about the Games that I'm starting to think excitement doesn't excite me enough!

Actually it's in the forefront of my mind how fortunate I am to be representing Australia again and that's sort of exciting for me. To this point Chantelle and I have been supported by the AIS, Diving Australia, the ASC, the AOC, family and friends (google acronyms where unsure of meaning). That's really cool and we're gonna bust out on some serious diving in Beijing.

The Games really are something to be excited about because they are so cool. You may win or lose but you have to make the most of it because they won't roll around for another four years (two if you switch to a winter sport but that's always struck me as being a little on the cold side). Well, we're gonna have a blast over there no matter what.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

We simulated competition conditions at training today. There were judges, scores, officials and spectators. It was actually a pretty good replication of the white-hot intensity of competitive diving. It was all part of a well planned training regimen.

I've been pushing for training to include, or even consist predominantly of, time on a playstation. There are currently no actual games that teach diving so we'll just have to play Call of Duty 4. As a matter of fact the core skills involved in springboard and platform diving are the same as that involved in most playstation games. You just get wetter with diving. And fitter. Wetter and fitter. So far no coach has been very receptive to my suggestion. This is not surprising since our coaches are professional and not predisposed to nonsense.

In any case the training competition went reasonably well but it did highlight some areas which will need working on in the final weeks leading up to Beijing (probably not on a playstation though).

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I'm Robert Newbery and I have just qualified for my third Olympic Games in the sport of diving. My first Games were Sydney 2000 and then Athens 2004. So far I have three Olympic medals, all bronze. A nicer colour this time would be good.

There must be something about the Olympics because I have come out of retirement just to go for it again. It'll be harder this time because now I have two kids (Jet 6 and Ryder 1), a job, I'm getting older and I have to pretend I can still jump around athletically like I did when I was in my late teens and early twenties. Cool huh?

No seriously, I'm looking forward to it. I qualified for three events: 3m individual, 3m synchro and 10m synchro. I'm doing 10m with Mat helm and 3m with Scott Robertson. We've had a fair amount of success in recent years and we want to keep our eye on the ball in Beijing. Diving is a sport where a certain amount of skill is involved. I have very little so I rely on blind luck and getawaywithitiveness. I made that last word up to describe what happens on most of my dives, where you jump off the board - don't know what the dickens you're doing but somehow land up and down on your head. Works like a charm (i.e. sometimes maybe). Hope my coach doesn't read this.

Any how, I'll get down to the finer points of Olympic preparation in subsequent posts. There are many intriguing facets of Olympic competition to keep the reader enthralled for many hours (actually there are not but I'll make something up).