Furry comfort for Aussie swimmer Seebohm's broken heart
Pongo the Dalmatian helps Aussie swim star Seebohm forget the pain of splitting from her boyfriend
Dealing with heartbreak is every bit painful for anyone, even if you are a two-time Olympic gold medallist.
Australian swim star Emily Seebohm suffered the agony in July when she split up with her boyfriend of two years, Mitch Larkin, a fellow pool personality.
In a phone interview with The New Paper yesterday, she spoke of how the throes of the break-up brought on depression.
" I suffered anxiety and a little depression throughout my career," said Seebohm, who will compete in Singapore in next month's final leg of the Fina World Cup.
"Some things just happen beyond your control and the worst is when I'm not swimming, so I get sucked into that bad feeling that you have when you are having depression."
Fortunately for her, she found two coping mechanisms - one in the form of running and the other of the furry kind.
"I just wanted to get back to what I love doing, which is racing. I just wanted to enjoy that," Seebohm said.
"I'm just 26. For me, it's about getting up and doing something active. Something that I just started doing is running and it has been of massive help, to get my mind off things."
He is a lovely little guy and definitely has been lovely to have around the house.Emily Seebohm on her Dalmatian, Pongo
And steering clear of negativity has been made easier with the addition of a new family member in her million-dollar Brisbane home.
Seebohm got herself a 13-week-old Dalmatian last month and has been head over heels in love with Pongo.
"I love Dalmatians and have always wanted my own dog," she said.
"It happened a lot sooner than I thought. With everything that has happened, I thought I needed something for myself. Just really what I want. Something special.
"He is a lovely little guy and definitely has been lovely to have around the house."
Seebohm leaves Pongo at her parents' place whenever she travels for meets and complained that the missing-you sentiment is not exactly mutual.
"My parents have two dogs of their own, so the three of them are just up to some mischief, having so much fun," she said.
"I get to see the videos and he doesn't seem to miss me at all. I feel like I miss him more than he does (me)."
Her next ports of call are Beijing and Tokyo, after which the backstroke specialist arrives in Singapore for the Nov 15-17 meet.
She will come on the back of impressive performances at the Commonwealth Games (two gold medals, one silver and one bronze) and Pan Pacific Championships (two golds and one silver). She also won three events (50m, 100m, 200m backstroke) at the fourth leg of the World Cup in Budapest, Hungary, two weeks ago.
She believes these achievements put her in good stead for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"With the Pan Pac and Commonwealth Games, and obviously the emotional stuff as well, I handled myself really well and I'm really proud of what I achieved this year," said Seebohm.
"So, yeah, I definitely see myself trying for 2020. Would absolutely love that. I'm working towards that goal, ticking off every box that comes along."
However, the Australian said she has nothing to prove any more and is just looking to enjoy the rest of the ride, having been in the national team for 12 straight years.
"Sometimes, when you are consumed with a goal, you don't really see anything past that goal and so you don't enjoy it... I just want to enjoy the moment," added Seebohm, who hopes to visit Universal Studios Singapore when she is in town.
Singapore fans can also soak in the fun moments when she battles it out with Katinka Hosszu (Hungary) and Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden) among others at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
Home-grown Olympic champion Joseph Schooling headlines the meet.
Singapore will also be represented by a strong contingent, including Asian Games silver medallist Roanne Ho, Quah Ting Wen, Jonathan Tan and Glen Lim.
- Tickets for the Nov 15-17 Fina meet are available at sportshubtix.sg or visit www.swimming.org.sg for more information.