Armstrong shares Gladstone memories
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
IT WAS like a trip down memory lane when former Olympic Gold Medallist Duncan Armstrong stopped by the Gladstone Aquatic Centre yesterday.
Armstrong, who shared his gold medal-winning secrets with Gladstone's up and coming young swimmers, said the local pool held some very fond memories for him.
"Being here is a bit like old times for me,'' Armstrong, one of Rockhampton's finest sporting products, said.
"Actually, I won the under-11 aggregate trophy at the Gladstone Championships and to tell you the truth, I have still got it at home.
"The reason for that is because it was a whopping big trophy, which was actually bigger than I was back then.''
Armstrong expressed delight when asked about the purpose of his visit, which is part of a Coates Hire initiative to take the spirit of next year's Commonwealth Games to regional areas.
"As a person from a regional area, I really enjoy getting out to places like Gladstone,'' he said.
"Regional kids are great to work with, maybe I am a little bit biased, but I think they have a bit of an edge when it comes to hard work and dedication due to their environment.
"To come here and see these fresh-faced kids who have the same dreams as I did at their age is really exciting to be part of, even if it is for just one day.''
When asked about next year's games, the man who won two Commonwealth gold medals has predicted a gold rush in Melbourne.
"Well the girls are just about going to win everything in my opinion, they are just flying at the minute,'' he said.
"And I think there is a big chance for the boys who are a bit under the radar to step up.
"With Thorpey focusing on the sprints and Hacky out injured, a golden chance is there for a new hero to shine in front of a home audience.
"It should be very exciting.''
Armstrong will be there to see it all in his role as a member of the Channel 9 commentary team alongside one of the doyens of broadcasting, Ray 'Rabbits' Warren.
"I really enjoy the work with Channel 9. To have the chance to sit along Rabs (Warren) is great fun and he is certainly one of the best around,'' he said.
And I bet if you asked those kids at the Gladstone Aquatic Centre yesterday, they would say Armstrong is as well.