Last week, ambassador Luke Bailey received the call he’d been waiting for for months: He’d officially made the Australian Paralympic team. We were lucky enough to catch up with Luke and hear how he broke the news to his family about heading to Tokyo.
You may remember, we caught up with Luke a few months ago and chatted through his training schedule and what it felt like to be the fastest wheelchair racer in Australia. Luke shared some incredible insights into staying motivated and keeping your passion amid competitions and pressure. It was incredible that we could follow up with Luke today after discovering he officially made the team. You can find Luke’s article here.
Hear from Luke:
It was the longest day of my life. I was waiting all day for that call, and I couldn’t focus on anything. As the day went on, my coach kept telling me that it was a good thing that they hadn’t called me yet, but I was still so nervous.
Then the call finally came in. I can’t explain the feeling. I was completely over the moon. I knew my times were good, and I had qualified, but there’s still the doubt and uncertainty until you’re officially in. It was really nice because my mum flew down to be with me while I found out. She burst into tears when I told her; she was so happy and so incredibly proud. It was sad to see her cry, but I know it was because she was so happy for me. My dreams had come true after six years of hard work; it was such an incredible moment.
I’ve been keeping it quiet for a while and telling people slowly. My dad wasn’t surprised; he had so much faith that I was in the team anyway. I told my brother almost straight away. He’s been a huge supporter my whole life. He’s been there through all my injuries and races. My best friend was speechless, which was a first! Everyone’s been so supportive; it’s been a really great time.
I’m really excited, but It’s a little bittersweet because my family can’t come with me to Tokyo. You know, it’s my first Paralympics, and it’ll be hard not having that family support, but at least I have a great team and coach with me.
You know, it’s easy to panic about COVID, especially with everything going on right now. I’m really trying to stay calm, but it gets pretty overwhelming at times. I’m just focusing on my training and keeping myself healthy before we fly out on September 1st.
Sometimes I still can’t believe it’s happening. I’m going to do my best, but I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself. I can get really nervous at competitions, so I’m trying to remind myself to enjoy this time. I’m just here for the experience and to show the world how good I am and how hard I’ve worked to get here.
Make sure you follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with Luke’s journey to Tokyo. We’re all rooting for you, Luke!!