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Athletes

Anabelle
Smith
AustraliaAustralia, AUS
Diving

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
03 February 1993
Height
161 cm
Residence
Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Exercise and Health Science - Australian Catholic University: Australia

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began diving in 2005 in Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Why this sport?
She was inspired to try diving after watching the sport on television during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. "I was the sort of kid in my backyard, teaching myself backflips on my trampoline and always had that aerial awareness. Diving is different and challenging and not many people really know about it. One day my parents took me to a diving holiday programme. My cousin tried diving before and I was kind of interested, so I gave that a go. Some of the coaches there saw that I had some natural talent and looked like I had potential. It was just really skyrocketed from there."
Club / Team
Victorian Institute of Sport [VIS]: Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Name of coach
Andy Banks [club, national]
Training Regime
She trains up to seven hours a day.

General Interest

Nicknames
Belle (rio2016.olympics.com.au, 07 Aug 2016)
Hobbies
Sports, travelling, supporting Australian rules football team Richmond. (gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a bronze medal in 3m synchronised springboard at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Most influential person in career
Her parents. (gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Hero / Idol
US basketball player Stephen Curry, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, Australian sprinter Cathy Freeman. (vis.org.au, 01 May 2018; gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Injuries
In October 2015 a rib injury forced her to pull out of an event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (rio2016.olympics.com.au, 26 Oct 2015)

She crushed her finger in a gym training incident in 2013. She returned to the sport in June that year, having been out of the water for three months. (au.sports.yahoo.com, 02 Jun 2013)

She sprained her ankle in December 2008. (thesportsvault.com.au, 14 May 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"My recipe for success would be hard work at training because you don't want to be relying on luck to get you through a competition. Also having belief in yourself and from the people around you, and a good network of supporters, because I don't think you can do it on your own." (VIS TV YouTube channel, 19 Feb 2018)
Awards and honours
She was named the Most Outstanding Female Diver of the Year by the Victorian Institute of Sport in Australia for nine consecutive years between 2011 and 2019. (vis.org.au, 28 Oct 2019)

She received the Sarah Tait Spirit Award at the 2016 Victorian Institute of Sport Award of Excellence evening. (Victorian Institute of Sport Facebook page, 01 Dec 2016)

She was named the 2009 Australian Junior Elite Female Diver of the Year. (Australian Commonwealth Games Team Handbook, 2010)
Ambitions
To win a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (exclusiveinsight.com, 19 Mar 2019)
Other information
FUTURE PLANS
She aspires to stay involved in the sport after retiring from diving. "I feel like I'm at the end half of my career [speaking in 2018]. I think I'll take a break [from studying after graduating university] and just focus on the rest of my diving career, and when that's all over I have to enter the real world, start looking for work. But I'll definitely stay in this sporting field." (sbs.com.au, 28 Nov 2018)

CRUSHED FINGER
In 2013 she injured her finger while training at the Victorian Institute of Sport in Melbourne, VIC, Australia. After a box she was standing on collapsed, the middle finger on her right hand fell between the weight plates of a machine. She tore every ligament in her finger and the fingertip was held on by a few millimetres of flesh. She underwent three months of rehabilitation before she could return to the water, and had to wear a hand brace for a further five months. "They didn't tell me [it was gone forever], they told me I'd done a good job and we can fix it. I don't have full movement in that finger. It doesn't really stop me doing anything." (heraldsun.com.au, 29 Jul 2014)

FURTHER EDUCATION
She has studied algebra and trigonometry through Open Universities Australia and the University of South Australia. "The confidence study provides me in knowing that I can continue to grow my career when I retire from elite sport is really comforting. Studying online has enabled me to pursue my studies and be overseas to compete at the same time." (open.edu.au, 20 Apr 2017)

FAMILY FIRST
She says the experience living away from her family ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and her father suffering a heart attack in 2018 have both made her focus more of her attention on her family life. "Moving to be closer to the national team programme was essential for my diving career and helped me achieve my goal of making my first Olympics [in 2012]. However, I struggled really badly at stages and found myself in some dark places. [Her father's heart attack] was such a challenging time for my family and brought so much stress and sadness. However, going through that made me appreciate my family and friends a whole lot more, and gave me a level of perspective I've never had. My sport is great, but it is not my everything. My family is my everything and so I cherish that more now than I ever did in the past." (exclusiveinsight.com, 19 Mar 2019)

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