Seebohm hopes Olympic bid inspires her baby and mothers

Steve Larkin |

Emily Seebohm hopes her unfulfilled Olympic quest proves to her baby boy and fellow mothers that anything is possible.

Eight months after giving birth, Seebohm has fallen short in her quest to become the first Australian swimmer picked for five Olympics Games.

The 32-year-old finished fifth in Thursday night’s 200m backstroke final at Australia’s Olympic swim trials in Brisbane.

Pre-race, Seebohm said she had extra motivation in her unrealised bid to race in Paris.

“I have had mums from mums’ group that have come out and watched with their bubs, which has been really exciting,” the four-time Olympian said.

“And mums have reached out to me on Instagram or Facebook or whatever saying how inspiring this is.

“When I was pregnant, I felt like I lost that athlete that I was.

“And this is me trying to regain that … and proving to other women that it’s possible to not only have kids but achieve your dreams too.”

Ditto for son Sampson.

“I’m doing it for myself and I’m doing it to prove to Sampson that if you have got a dream, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it,” Seeobohm said.

“A lot of people when I announced that I was coming back were like ‘oh, that will never happen and you won’t be able to do it’.

“I breastfed for eight months solid.

“And I was able to do that and go to training and pump and go to gym and be home with Sampson and make it to swimming lessons, make it to gymnastics.

“I was able to do that. It was super hard, but it’s doable.”

Seebohm, who has won three gold, three silver and one bronze medal at her four Olympics, said motherhood made her a wiser athlete.

“We always think at 30 that is the prime of your athletic career,” she said.

“And I think that there’s still more to give, there’s just a different way to do it.

“It’s not doing it the same way as the young kids are doing it, it’s doing it a smarter way – but I still think there is room for movement.”