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Rae Anderson - Reflections on 2016 Paralympics

We sat down with Modibodi ambassador and 2016 Paralympian competitor Rae Anderson to discuss how the Games went for her and what plans she has for the future!

We couldn't be more proud of everything Rae has achieved so far and can't wait to see what 2017 will bring her.

We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

Modibodi is not an official sponsor of the 2016 Olympic or Paralympic Games. 

 1. So you recently competed in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, what an amazing feat, tell us what your experiences were like there

I had so much fun and the best experience. We had a 2 week holding and training camp in Florida,  where we stayed at an American College with some amazing training facilities! We flew on to Rio a few days before the competition began. Rio was such an awesome experience, although I only had one day outside the village after my last event I still made the most of my time there and soaked up the whole experience.

2. What is your fondest memory/greatest achievement

I was so lucky, thanks to a very enthusiastic friend, to be literally front and centre as the Australian team marched out into the stadium for the opening ceremony. We were near the front and he was jumping up and down (high jumper) saying let's get to the front! So with a small bunch of athletics friends I marched into the stadium and they were some of the best minutes of my Rio campaign. I say some as due to the length of the Opening Ceremony and the fact we were there to compete, we literally marched into and out of the stadium within minutes. We didn’t see any of the ceremony and spent more time getting there than we actually did in the stadium. But it was amazing. The feeling of marching right behind your flag with a bunch of people who you’ve become so close with during such an incredible shared experience is something I’ll always cherish! Competing for my country for the third time never gets old, the feeling of excitement and pride is amazing and that stadium during competition day made it even more beautiful. I threw a huge 2 metre PB in my first event and that was honestly not only my fondest memory of Rio but my fondest memory ever. To know my PB was achieved due to all my support from back home. My mother called it 21st Century Coaching. My coach Kerry was sending me feedback via Facebook messenger to my Team Coach in Rio who would call me to the fence pass on the information from Kerry after each throw. The Rio Team coach was filming my throws and sending them home to Kerry who was sitting in her Central Coast lounge room alternating between the television, live feed and FB messenger. Crazy times. My mum said no one slept for the 2 weeks I was away. Everyone was glued to the TV. I have developed wonderful friendship with the girls I compete with and love sharing such a rewarding experiences with them. Our usual conversations and words of encouragement were, however, often hard to hear over the deafening encouraging cheers of the colourful, loud and excited spectators from all over the world. Although it was evident the Brazilians were the loudest of them all and their girl Shirley won the Gold medal. They screamed the house down. It was such an amazing atmosphere.

3. What’s your favourite athletic gear to wear, besides Modibodi underwear of course!

Can’t beat my Modibodis! I genuinely can’t think of anything else. After Rio I got a new pair of Nike Rio pink and yellow discus shoes which come in a close second. They are the cutest pair of shoes I’ve ever worn and super comfy! Hopefully they make me throw far!

 

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4. Do you have any plans for the future? We hear the Commonwealth Games are possibly in the cards

I am currently unsure about the Commonwealth Games and my short term future. They have not included my events, discus and javelin in these games.  Of course I have dreamed of competing for my country in a home stadium but I am still unsure this will happen.

I have World Championships in July 2017 in London which is my short term goal.  Beyond July I am unsure if I will have a year break, train for Long Jump for the Commonwealth Games or get back to one of my favourite sports Snow Skiing Slalom for the 2018 Winter Paralympics.

I have always taken each opportunity as it presents itself so now I have to wait for 2017 and see which of these opportunities is ready for me!

5. What is your favourite post training treat?

Healthy or unhealthy? Either way I deem chocolate to have enough of the nutritious value required to be labelled as a healthy post training protein hit. Obviously, I’m kidding (kinda). Just to please the nutritionists that are freaking out over my poor dieting choices as an elite athlete, I will add I enjoy my chia seeds in a properly proportioned protein wrap with cheese and chicken. Although I must add, chocolate has some amazing properties and should be praised for its ingenuousness. (Cadbury! What are you waiting for. Sponsor me! Please! Haha)

6. Your amazing efforts really do show that with hard work and passion, you can achieve anything you set your mind to regardless of any restrictions. Do you have a favourite saying or phrase that has kept you motivated?

It’s not necessarily sayings or phrases that keep me motivated, it’s my desire to achieve and push myself to see what I can achieve, as well as my support team that keeps me motivated. My desire to achieve and support others to greatness through my story and accomplishments is what also truly keeps me motivated. I have come a long way and to be succeeding at this level for me, that is the motivation. I am grateful everyday.  

7. It’s so inspiring to see a lot of female athletes competing at the games as well, do you think women have come a long way in terms of being recognised for sporting accomplishments?

Indeed, I believe women have come a long way although the discrepancy in media, funding, opportunities and societal views on not only women but disability in sport still has a long way to go. These are ways in which we can accurately measure sporting recognition in society and unfortunately it is evident society is still being educated that the able male is the more nationally and internationally recognisable sporting icon of success. Our society is forever changing and developing.  Ideas and norms are being challenged and redefined in not only our sport but in our everyday lifestyle even down to the words we use to define ourselves and concepts in our community. So, yes I believe, I as a disabled female athlete I have greater opportunities for recognition in comparison to my early ‘sisters’ in sport.

8. How do you balance yourself?

Balancing myself is studying for university, training for World Championships, working part time in an amazing job, writing and organising my next speaking presentation, socialising with my beautiful friends and volunteering at the Buddhist temple or organising my next volunteering opportunity. So balancing myself is keeping occupied and enjoying every chance that presents itself!

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