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Brendon SMITH
Sport Swimming
NOC Australia   
GenderMen
Born04 Jul 2000
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Residence
Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
English
Higher education
Accounting, Finance - La Trobe University: Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming as a child and started competing at about age seven.
Why this sport?
"When I started swimming, I wasn't good at all, up until I was maybe 15 years old was when I started to improve a lot and grow a lot. I started training harder, so probably until then I was in the shadow of my sisters who were always good at a really young age. I was swimming really young, both of my parents used to do a lot of swimming. I was in the water really young."
Club / Team
Nunawading Swimming Club: Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Name of coach
Jol Finck [club]; Rohan Taylor [national], AUS
Training Regime
He has nine swim sessions and three gym sessions each week.
General Interest
Nicknames
Brendo (Instagram profile, 20 Jun 2021)
Hobbies
Spending time with friends, watching rugby league, basketball, playing video games. (ellevatemedia.net, 19 Jul 2021; funkytrunks.com, 20 Nov 2019)
Most influential person in career
His parents. (upstart.net.au, 10 Aug 2020)
Hero / Idol
Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, US swimmer Michael Phelps. (upstart.net.au, 10 Aug 2020)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He always has the same meal and snacks before a race. (funkytrunks.com, 20 Nov 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I think the human brain is a major untapped source. Sometimes it's the mental ability that makes the difference. In swimming, 0.01 second can be the difference between a gold or silver medal. It comes down to who wants it more and who is mentally stronger. You must put faith in your ability. One of my favourite sayings is that, 'Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard'." (ellevatemedia.net, 19 Jul 2021)
Awards and honours
He was named Newcomer of the Meet at the 2021 Australian Olympic Trials in Adelaide, SA, Australia. (ellevatemedia.net, 19 Jul 2021)

In 2018 he was named Youth Athlete of the Year by Lifesaving Victoria in Australia.(ellevatemedia.net, 19 Jul 2021)
Other sports
He has represented Australia at junior level in surf lifesaving. (olympics.com.au, 17 Jun 2021)
Famous relatives
His sisters Mikayla and Reidel have competed in swimming at national level in Australia. His grandmother Margie Smith was one of the first coaches at Nunawading Swimming Club when the club was established in 1960s. His parents competed in surf lifesaving at national level. (nunawadingswimmingclub.com, 27 Jul 2021; latrobe.edu.au, 26 Jul 2021; AUS Olympic Team YouTube channel, 20 Jul 2021)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. (ellevatemedia.net, 19 Jul 2021)
Other information
SURF LIFESAVING
He volunteers as a lifeguard at Half Moon Bay Surf Lifesaving Club in Victoria, Australia. "I enjoy competing in surf lifesaving because it's fun and I don't feel any pressure. I love to race out in the ocean knowing that it's not always the best swimmer that gets to win they must also be able to run fast in and out of the water, along with an ability to catch and hold your breath on a wave. Every year I spend a minimum of 16 hours over summer as a volunteer lifeguard at Half Moon Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. The club has an extraordinarily strong tradition of team support and they have all been incredibly supportive in my swimming career." (ellevatemedia.net, 19 Jul 2021)

EDUCATION
In 2019 he began studying for a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance at La Trobe University in Melbourne, VIC, Australia. He decided to study there because of the La Trobe Elite Athlete Program [LEAP], which enables him to also pursue swimming while pursuing his degree. "My sister [Mikayla] is older than me and she had been through it and said only good things. Some of the advantages of being with the Elite Athlete Program are when you're under the pump with swimming or whatever your sport is you have someone to lean back on and help you and assist you with anything you need, school or swimming-related." (latrobe.edu.au, 26 Jul 2021; ellevatemedia.net, 19 Jul 2021)

FAMILY SUPPORT
His sisters Mikayla and Reidel have competed in swimming at national level in Australia, while his parents both participated in surf lifesaving competitions. "My family support is amazing I don't know anyone that is lucky enough to have the same support I do. From my parents, siblings and even my grandparents that travel from New South Wales to all our state championships, national championships and even my international competition to watch and support me. Living at home keeps me humble. My three sisters have also won Australian medals for swimming and lifesaving I am just one of four. I am also lucky to have [my sister] Mikayla swimming in the same squad, so we can share the driving to be honest she drives 95% of the time but travelling in and out of the city in peak hours can get boring on your own, so I enjoy our time together. [At a meet], our policy is we talk about anything but swimming." (AUS Olympic Team YouTube channel, 20 Jul 2021; ellevatemedia.net, 19 Jul 2021)

EARLY DAYS
He began swimming at a young age but did not start taking the sport seriously until he was about age 15, which coincided with a growth spurt he had. "I don't remember thinking whether I liked swimming or not. It was a skill that was needed if we wanted to go out in the surf for a play, and I loved to just play in the water. I was always the kid that was overlooked at swimming because I didn't have the best technique. After the 2016 Olympic Games a new head coach, Scott Talbot, arrived at Nunawading [Swimming Club]. Scott believed in me, took me into the high-performance group and I've improved ever since. It was the biggest thing that changed me from winning a state medal to a national medal to making Australian teams. It was hard to train at that level and study. I was leaving home at 05:30, then training and eating breakfast in the car on the way to school, arriving at about 09:00. Then I went straight back to training [after school] and arrived home at 19:00. They were long days. Overall, being an athlete at school taught me many important life skills, with the most important being time management. You need to be able to be organised to fit everything into your day." (ellevatemedia.net, 19 Jul 2021)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
22 2021 Tokyo, JPN 200m Individual Medley 1:58.57
3 2021 Tokyo, JPN 400m Individual Medley 4:10.38
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2022 Budapest, HUN 200m Individual Medley 2:01.32
5 2022 Budapest, HUN 400m Individual Medley 4:11.36
2 2022 Budapest, HUN 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay