“I will be competing at Rio2016 Olympics” — that’s the bold statement from Zimbabwe swimming icon Kirsty Coventry.
REPORT BY SPORTS REPORTER
And in order to do this successfully, Coventry, on her Facebook account yesterday, said she had started building a team that would take her to the next level.
“This Olympics will be about how far I can push myself — it will be about finding the next level. To do this, I need to be confident. I am confident.
“We have already started building the ultimate team to assist me in getting to that next level. Econet Wireless and Arena International have given me their support and will help ensure I can focus on my goals. My coaches are David Marsh (Head Coach at SwimMac Team Elite) and Kim Brackin (Personal Coach: 2004, 2008, 2012 Olympics). I will be based in Charlotte, North Carolina, (United States) and training with the swimmers at SwimMac Team Elite. I have purposefully surrounded myself with this team because they believe in me and together we will get there,” she said on her official account She added: “To my family, friends and fans, you have supported me for my last four Olympics and I have won seven Olympic medals. Support me in my 5th Olympics and lets see what happens . . .”
Coventry attended and swam competitively for Auburn University in Alabama, in the United States. At the 2004 Summer Olympics, in Athens, Greece, Coventry won three Olympic medals: a gold, a silver, and a bronze, while in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing she won four medals: a gold and three silver.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has called her “a golden girl” and awarded her $100 000 in cash for her 2008 Olympic performance.
At the 2012 Olympics in London, Coventry finished third in her semi-final heat of the 200m individual medley, just edging her into the final, where she placed 6th with a time of 2:11.13.
In the 200m backstroke, she finished outside the medals in sixth place with a time of 2:08.18.
Last year, she was elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
She will serve as an IOC member for eight years.