Western Australian athletes Danielle Kettlewell, Amie
Thompson, Deborah Tsai and Rose Stackpole have today earned official selection
for the Australian Synchronised Swimming Team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
All four athletes will make their Olympic debut as
members of the nine-strong Australian squad, whilst Stackpole will also
compete, alongside Queensland’s Nikita Pablo in the duet.
The proud Western Australians have each travelled a
different path en route to securing their Olympic journey, with 23 year-old
Kettlewell moving to Australia from Canada, Thompson (20) born in the UK, Tsai
(21) emigrating from Singapore and Stackpole (21) gaining citizenship from her
native New Zealand earlier in 2016.
What is consistent for the group however, is the opportunity
that Perth presented, as Kettlewell explains.
"At the end of 2013 I had the opportunity to move over
(to Australia) with the hope of going to Rio. I picked up my whole life and
moved to Perth,” she said.
"It’s an unbelievable experience. Being selected is more
of a feeling than anything else, I feel like my heart swells in pride. I’m so
unbelievably proud to represent Australia at the Olympics.”
Kettlewell – whose parents were originally from Sydney –
said the team shared a great bond, which she felt would serve them well in
"The Team has been together as a group for a while and we
have great friendships which I think has made us stronger in the pool and an
advantage moving into Rio.”
Thompson, outside of sport is studying Mining Engineering,
whilst Tsai this year completed a Bachelor of Commerce. The pair along with
Kettlewell, were members of the Australian Team that competed at the 2015 FINA
World Championships in Russia.
Stackpole, who grew up in Auckland, first competed for
Australia in 2014, with Rio representing her first major event as part of the
senior Australian Team.
The selection of four Western Australian athletes takes
the state’s official numbers on the Australian Olympic Team to 32 athletes.