Tokyo dreams for elite diver

6 Mar 2018

Tokyo dreams for elite diver

DIVER Sam Fricker has one goal — to make a splash at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Sam joined the Australian diving team in Germany two weeks ago for the FINA International Grand Prix. At 15 he was the youngest of the elite divers from 22 countries and had the thrill of competing against one of his diving heroes Bo Qui, a three times world champion.

He competed in the individual 10m platform. Sam said he enjoyed the challenge of the 10m platform most.

“For me, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward when you get it right,” he said.

The Trinity Grammar student, who took out the Inner West Courier Sports Star title in 2016, trains up to 27 hours a week. His coach Vyninka Arlow, a 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medalwinner, said Sam was the hardest working athlete she had ever coached and that’s why he gained Australian selection so quickly.

Sam’s family moved from the Hunter region to Sydney in 2015 to support his diving career.

His mother, Toni Fricker said: “Sam had intensity and focus and was determined to achieve his goals even as an 11-year-old.” His steel sharp focus was not what made him start diving, though, it was a girl.

“A girl I liked was doing diving, so I started too,” Sam said.

Sam is the first Inner West Courier Local Sports Star nomination for 2018. The competition, that runs until August 26, has four categories for under 18s — Junior Sports Star Individual, Junior Sports Star Team, Young Sporting Spirit Individual and Young Sporting Spirit Team.

There is also an open-age Service To Sport category for people who are the heart and soul of their sports clubs and codes.

Finalists will be selected for each newspaper, with overall NSW winners announced at a gala awards presentation. The winners will go on to a national competition.

NewsLocal thanks our partners Your Local Club, the NSW registered club industry, and Featherdale Wildlife Park for their support in 2018.

Inner West Courier – 6th March 2018