| Melbourne: Cricket legend Steve Waugh will be the athlete liaison officer for Australia’s synchronised swim team at the London Olympics.
That means if a young Olympian is feeling the anxiety of competing in front of packed stands, they are likely to look to Waugh for comfort.
As a cricketer, he was always fascinated by the psychology of sport and now he has the chance to play amateur psychologist.
The feedback on his performance in Beijing was positive in that athletes said he spent a good deal of time listening and subtly consoling them rather than telling old war stories which others had done over the years.
In many ways, Waugh is a hard man but occasionally a good cause rips his heart fair out of his chest.
He has been a long-time fundraiser for orphanages in India and he has been particularly softened by the plight of Australia’s synchronised swim team.
The synchro girls are an easy target for Olympic baggers but any time Waugh hears them criticised, his head snaps around as if someone said his mum wears army boots.
“I think they are as good as athletes as anyone. When people knock them down I say come and watch the sport,” the Courier Mail quoted Waugh as saying.
“It requires so many different skills such as swimming, teamwork and gymnastics. You talk about teamwork in cricket. This takes it to another level,” he stated.
He said he really wants to be a part of the team and help them.
First Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2012, 13:54