PINES CAREER TUMBLE-TURN
By STEVE SPINKS
FORMER Northern Rivers swimmer Adam Pine has declared he wants to compete at the Beijing Olympics.
Only 12 months ago, the 31-year-old was considering retirement.
However, the father-of-two has done a complete tumble-turn on retirement and will plug away until 2008.
Last week the butterflyer showed he was on track to fulfil his ambition.
Pine picked up two bronze medals in the 50m and 100m butterfly at the Australian Short Course National Championships in Melbourne.
The effort was enough for him to be selected in the Australian squad for the 2008 World Short Course Championships in Manchester, England, next year.
"I was going to retire after I went to the Commonwealth Games and World Short Course last year," Pine chuckled.
"But then the World Championships were on in Melbourne this year so I kept going but I didn't meet my expectations there.
"I know I can do a lot better and that's the reason why I'm swimming on."
"Following his disappointment in Melbourne, Pine took his longest holiday in 15 years of swimming.
"I took six weeks off out of the water and I'm now back doing five swim sessions a week," he said.
"I know there's a bit of work to do (to make the Olympics). But it is not unachievable."
The longevity of Pine's career is startling.
The former Ballina and Lismore swimmer has competed in four Commonwealth Games, two Olympic Games and countless World Championships.
However, perhaps his biggest moment in sport came out of the pool.
At the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Pine read the oath at the opening ceremony.
"I still enjoy swimming," he said.
"I love being involved in the sport and the culture.
"It's a great lifestyle and I'm passionate about the sport.
Pine has recently started working with Australian Swimming.
He's involved in club development, a role he used to fulfill with the Australian Sports Commission.
Australia's 2008 FINA World Short Course Team: Men: Grant Brits, Leith Brodie, Craig Calder, Nick D'Arcy, Ashley Delaney, Robert Hurley, Adam Lucas, Kenrick Monk, Kirk Palmer, Adam Pine, Nicholas Sprenger, Christopher Wright.
Women: Frances Adcock, Angie Bainbridge, Bronte Barratt, Jade Edmistone, Michelle Engelsman, Sally Foster, Felicity Galvez, Rachel Goh, Samantha Hamill, Belinda Hocking, Sarah Katsoulis, Alice Mills, Kristy Morrison, Meagen Nay, Kylie Palmer, Shayne Reese, Jennifer Reilly, Kelly Stubbins.
Head coach: Alan Thompson.