Who will forget the passion
Who will ever forget that passionate explosion of emotion from Laurie Lawrence after his young charge Duncan Armstrong, who had arrived at Seoul for the 1988 Olympics ranked 46th in the world, had just beaten three world record holders to take gold in the 400 metres freestyle final. “What do you think we came here for … the silver?” he told TV reporter Steve Quartermain, “Stuff the silver, we came for the Gold.”
It’s an attitude that is typically Australian. Why settle for second best? Never be beaten until you hit the finish line.
Laurie Lawrence has been poolside for plenty of Australia’s greatest Olympic moments and had already mentored another “mission impossible” gold medal effort with 17-year-old Jon Sieben four years earlier.
Laurie, more recently recognised for his Kids Alive Do the 5 water safety campaign that has led to saving many lives in Aussie pools, is also one of the country’s most popular and entertaining motivational speakers. He has attended eight Olympics Games – two as a champion swim coach and six as an Australian team athlete liaison officer, a confidante and mentor of athletes from all sports. It gave him an incredible insider’s aspect of what makes champions tick.
Sharing his insights in his new book
Over the years he has compiled some inclusive interviews and provided intimate insights into not just champion swimmers but some of our greatest Olympic heroes … from his boyhood hero Dawn Fraser, to rowers David Crawshay and Scott Brennan, hockey coach extraordinaire Ric Charlesworth, athletics middle distance hall of famer Herb Elliott and cyclists Kathy Watt and Anna Meares.
It’s compelling reading … as a motivational tool for young athletes or those fascinated with Australia’s legendary sporting DNA.
Follow Laurie’s podcast here
Learn about Laurie’s teaching philosophy https://worldwideswimschool.com/swim-teachers/newsletter/