Olympics Delivers Business Boost

Olympics Delivers Business Boost

Trinity diver bows out in Tokyo pool

Diver and entrepreneur Sam Fricker has made his Olympic debut in Tokyo – and earned a televised plug for his fledgling wheat straw business.

The 19-year-old Trinitarian didn’t manage to get past the preliminary stage of the men’s 10m platform event.

But as he was preparing for the first of his six dives, an Olympics TV commentator noted he had been so concerned about the environmental damage caused by plastic drinking straws that he had started up his own green business selling biodegradable wheat straws.

“He’s trying to do something about it, and that’s inspirational,” the commentator said.

“I’m incredibly inspired by this young man of just 19 years of age.”

In the pool, Sam started and finished solidly.

His opening back two-and-a-half somersault with one-and-a-half twists had him quickly into 13th position, with the top 18 to advance to Saturday’s semi-final.

He slipped slightly to 15th after his second dive, a forward three-and-a-half somersault.

But he fell out of the top 18, dropping back to 21st position after he attempted his most difficult dive, a reverse two-and-a-half somersault.

Things got even tougher when the water came too quickly on his next dive, another difficult back three-and-a-half somersault, which earned him just 29.7 points.

At that stage he was placed 27th, and his task was near impossible.

Sam, who started diving when he arrived at Trinity from Newcastle in Year 7, lost his balance slightly when he attempted an armstand back double somersault with one-and-a-half twists.

The Class of 2020 School Diving Captain left his best until last.

He scored 70.4 points for his signature dive, an inward three-and-a-half somersault, although it wasn’t enough to dig him out of second-last place in the 29-man field.

That final dive, however, showed what he was made of, his proud mum Toni said later.

“At that stage he knew he couldn’t make the semis but he still got up there and gave it everything, and he nailed it,” she said.

“I have always told my kids that winning is easy but it’s losing that builds character. You’ve got to be able to lose gracefully and get back up there and try again.

“I really felt for him; he’ll be shattered.

“But he’s got his whole diving career ahead of him. I’ve already worked out that he’ll only be 30 for the Brisbane in Olympics in 2032.

“He’s an Olympian, and I and all of his siblings are so proud of him.”

Sam told Trinity News from Tokyo that his disappointing three middle dives had been going well in training.

“It’s frustrating. Diving can be rough. It just wasn’t my day. The nerves were good; I was more nervous at the Olympic trials.

“Maybe I lost concentration for a couple of milliseconds. I just had to dive decently to make the semis.”

He said this was his first major international meet, and he had felt the absence of his coach due to pandemic personnel cutbacks.

“But overall it has been a beautiful experience. It has definitely been a dream come true.”

Told about the exposure for his business, he said: “Sam’s Straws on the world stage – that’s fantastic.”

His mum laughingly predicted the business website might “blow up” after the TV publicity.

“I could be having to send hundreds of admin emails in the morning. I’m too scared to have a look.”

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