ANZA Magazine September 2019

Page 78




Olympic, World and Commonwealth Gold medallist and founder of skin company Milk and Co, MICHAEL KLIM is based in Bali, where he keeps active with surfing, weights, yoga, cardio, and of course, swimming! He talks to Rebecca Foreman about life after competitive swimming. What’s your connection to Singapore? I live in Bali because my kids are there but throughout my entire life I’ve always visited Singapore. I spent a lot of time training there when I was with the Australian swim team, alongside Singaporean swimmers. I love training in hot climates so Singapore has always been one of my favourite places, the facilities are incredible and swimming is highly regarded there. I’ve helped with the local school swimming programmes and was involved with the Youth Olympics recently. I’ve run many swim clinics at the Australian International School. How did you make the decision to stop swimming competitively? It was an internal battle, mentally I wanted to keep going but I came to the tough realisation that my body just wasn’t responding to stay on top of the game and compete with injury-free youngsters. After Athens, I was 27 and it all started going pear shaped with injuries. Swimming is tough on your body, you can be doing up to 6000 shoulder rotations a day. Tell us about life after winning Gold at the Olympics? By 2007 I had two kids and had started my skin care company Milk and Co. and I realised I wasn’t scared about life after

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I still had a huge passion for exercise but wanted to push my body beyond just the clock. sport. I still had a huge passion for exercise but wanted to push my body beyond just the clock. Then in 2010, I decided to swim again and got back to the same level of fitness. I proved to myself that I could achieve a high level with a good balance, obviously my ex-wife Lindy and my parents were really supportive. But I missed the swim team by a couple of spots. I wasn’t bitter or angry though, I was happy with the process of getting back to the same fitness at 35 years of age, as when I was 27. My kids got to see what it takes to train and compete at the highest level. They saw what dedication means. Would you like to see your children achieve sporting greatness? More than anything I want my kids to find something they are passionate

about. They love the water, tennis, swimming, and surfing. I’d imagine as time goes on they’ll start to focus more specifically on an activity. It’s so easy to start something and then quit. I see this a lot. I want my kids to be consistent and have a drive towards their goals. What makes a great dad? I’ve found a good balance recently. I think perhaps because my kids respect my wisdom (laughs). I believe it all comes down to communication and finding a fine line between being authoritarian and clear, with open lines of communication. They respect me for being authoritarian but also for guiding them in the right direction. And yet my kids still want to have fun with me which is also a big tick.

September 2019

19/8/2019 10:25:35 AM