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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, Coach, Motivational Speaker
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. "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 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 Olympic Games. (gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Other information
RETIREMENT PLANS
In 2018 she hinted that she would stay involved in diving after retiring from the sport, and visit her family in Mauritius. "I feel like I'm at the end half of my career. 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. My mum's whole family are from Mauritius, and I've never been before. Each time my family has gone over I've been competing overseas. Hopefully one day when I retire I'm going to have a big holiday and visit all my family there." (sbs.com.au, 28 Nov 2018)

CRUSHED FINGER
In 2013 she was in the gym at the Victorian Institute of Sport in Melbourne, VIC, Australia, where she was doing calf raises off a box. The box collapsed and the middle finger on her right hand fell between the weight plates in the machine. Every ligament was cut in half, while the tip of her finger was held on by just a few millimetres of flesh. She required three months of therapy 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)

EARLY DAYS
She says that being away from her family during the preparation for her first Olympic Games in 2012 has been a turning point for her as a person and athlete. "Eighteen months prior [the 2012 Olympic Games], I moved away from home not too longer after I finished school in a bid to train in the national programme in another state. I have always been super independent and self-sufficient, but I also am a huge family girl and love being home. But 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. However, I struggled really badly at stages and found myself in some dark places. I internalised a lot because I didn't want anyone to worry about me, but it was really really hard. I eventually moved back home to Melbourne and reached out to professional help. We began to break down the beliefs I had formed about myself during the hard times and it made me understand why I begun to think or feel a certain way. It was a wonderful learning and healing process and I am proud of the strong, independent, passionate and driven woman I have become today. 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)

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)

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