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Feature: Beijing to be last Olympics for Australian diving couple
16:57, August 06, 2008

Walking into the Water Cube, the Newbery couple from Australia were astonished at the sight of the venue, and then the thought of having their sons to be here came to their minds.

"What if our two sons can see the pretty pool. What if they can see the last Olympic Games of their parents," said Chantelle Newbery as she recalled the moment reaching China's national aquatic center.

The Newberys, Chantelle Newbery and her husband Robert Newbery, the Olympians for both the 2000 Sydney and the 2004 Athens, are the only diving couple in the Beijing Olympic Games.

Chantelle, 31, winner of the women's 10m platform in Athens, will compete in 3m springboard this time, while 29-year-old Robert, thrice bronze winner out of the last two Games, will also compete in 3m springboard, both in individual and synchronized as well as 10m platform synchronized.

Apart from divers, they are also parents of two sons, 6-year-old Jack and 2-year-old Rada. Besides diving, what they care the most is the two boys, taken care of by their grandparents.

The Montreal World Championships in 2005 was the last competition they participated in, and after that the couple retired altogether. At the Melbourne World Championships 2007, they showed up on TV as Robert took up the narrator, and Chantelle sat aside with Rada.

"We can not dive for our whole life," said Robert Wednesday. "After 2005, we felt there was no impetus in diving, and we need to find something else fun in life. But in Melbourne, the feeling to be a spectator was not good. So for the Beijing Olympics, both of us have expectations."

The attraction of Olympic Games is too much that after communicating with the Australian Swimming Association and head coach of the Australian diving team Tong Hui, the couple got back to training in July 2007. They took part in February's World Cup and national trials before qualifying for the Beijing Olympics.

Compared with the preparation for the Athens Olympics, the biggest problem for the couple was the lack of time and energy. Chantelle had to take care of her kids every day, and she needed to lose some weight.

She had to train 25 to 30 hours a week for her best form. Robert had to drive Jack to school every day and he was an intern in a clinic. Robert needed to continue his career in a university and his graduation thesis had not finished yet.

"I lost 50kg compared to last year when I just got back to training," said Chantelle. "But it is not the most important. We really hope that there can be 48 hours a day so we can be better prepared for the Olympic Games."

"The comeback is very very hard," added Robert. "After all we are getting old, and can not be as strong as when we were only 20. Every day back home, we felt tired out. But still we have to take care of the children.

"We have dived together for many years, and we fight together no matter where we are. For the Olympic Games, all the effort we paid last year is worthwhile, because we love diving. But the only pity is we feel sorry for our children," Chantelle burst into tears.

Jack, the elder boy, knows Olympics since he was very a little kid, because his parents always went out to train and compete related to Olympics. In his opinion, parents of all children are busy for the Olympic Games. And now, Rada is repeating his brother's understanding.

"It is definitely our last Olympic Games as athletes," said Chantelle. "We don't think about what result it would be. We only want to enjoy the happiness of diving. After the Olympic Games, we want to spare more time with our children."


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