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01 Mar 2012
London 2012 , Olympic News , Olympic Solidarity

Olympic Solidary: Abrahm Louw, triathlon

Olympic Review catches up with one of the Olympic solidarity scholarship holders as he targets London 2012. After finishing fifth at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, Namibia’s African U23 triathlon champion Abrahm Louw is hoping to enjoy another Olympic experience in London in 2012.

How did you first get into triathlon?
I was quite good at swimming back in primary school, but during winter there was no swimming so I started doing cycling races when I got to high school. I’d done athletics all my life, so I just put it all together in 2007. I started with some youth races and it just went from there. 

How has the Olympic Solidarity programme helped you get where you are today?
It makes a huge difference. The support I got from Olympic Solidarity for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games made all the difference. I had no funding to get myself race-ready, for training or equipment, but they came in and gave me tremendous support.

What is a typical training week for you at the moment?
Anything from 15-20 hours per week, with a lot of high intensity sessions. I can’t cope with doing long, slow stuff, so I do what I need to and that’s it, nothing more. 

How much support do you feel you get from your country and compatriots?
My country has been doing a lot for me lately, showing its full support. It stands firmly behind me, but what I’m really looking forward to is what’s to come in the future.

What are your targets for London 2012, should you qualify for the Olympic Games?
At the moment I am doing everything I can to get to London 2012. I’ve had a lot of injuries over the past few years. I have only been training full-time for five months after only being able to do swimming for nearly four months. I just need to train injury free for at least 12 months to be at the top of my game. So, for now, everything is going to plan!

How would you feel about competing in such iconic surroundings as London’s Hyde Park?
I haven’t raced in London, but I actually love to race in places I haven’t been to yet, so I’m excited!

How difficult will it be to stop the Brownlee brothers dominating at the 2012 Olympic Games?
To stop them will be virtually impossible, but it’s an Olympic Games, not your normal race, and I’m sure you will see some unexpected people running for the podium.

How do you communicate with fans, friends and family? Do you use social media?
I’m not a big fan of micro-blogging. People are selling their whole life nowadays; they won’t eat or drink something before putting a picture on there. I use social networks now and then to stay up to date and that’s it.

What motivates you?
I want success, that’s what drives me. My mother gave her whole life to her kids and now she has nothing, so I want to give her something back. She is always happy – her family is what gives her life meaning.

Olympic Solidarity

Olympic Solidarity is the body that ensures that talented athletes, regardless of their financial status, have an equal chance of reaching the Olympic Games and succeeding in the Olympic arena.

It is responsible for administering and managing the National Olympic Committees’ share of the revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games.

Working in particular with the most disadvantaged NOCs and their Continental Associations, Olympic Solidarity uses this money to develop a range of assistance programmes.

Within its total budget, USD 61 million is earmarked to provide support to athletes for the 2009-2012 Olympic Solidarity quadrennial period.
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