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Libby Trickett and World Asthma Day

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May 10, 2013

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With World Asthma Day having taken place earlier this week on Tuesday 7 May, Clayton Bjelan was in conversation with gold medalist Olympic swimmer Libby Trickett who was diagnosed with asthma at age 15.

Libby Trickett has commendably clinched four gold medals for Australia in the past three successive Olympics, lighting up international television screens with her trademark smile and contagious positive outlook.

There are in fact a high proportion of swimmers with asthma which Ms Trickett indicates may result from the common medical advice given by doctors to asthmatics in relation to the importance of swimming in increasing lung capacity.

In her late teens, after graduating from high school, she deferred her university course and placed much of her social life on the line in order to dedicate all of her time to intense swimming training for the Olympics.

It was not until about 2006 when she came to a realisation, and ultimately the acceptance, that swimming would not be forever and sought to establish a better balance in her life, ensuring her university degree was completed.

“I was placing all my value on my swimming performance which is obviously unhealthy.”

Libby Trickett is an advocate for clean sport and hopes that sport will see a day when athletes have a completely fair and level playing field.

“To me that’s what’s exciting about sport, to see people pitted against each other just pure, and clean and ready to race off all the training they have done to condition their bodies the way that they have. That’s what’s inspiring to me.”

Figures, as shown by the Asthma Foundation, indicate that about 10 per cent of the population of Australia currently suffer from asthma.

Share your thoughts on asthma and the pressing issue of drugs in sport here at the in Conversation with Clayton Facebook Page.