Bunbury rower Alex Hagan is set to live her Olympic dream after a last-gasp qualifying success.
Olympic dreaming an early reality as Bunbury rower heads for London
Bunbury rowing sensation Alex Hagan can’t believe how quickly her luck has changed.
Not long ago, the 21-year-old had her sights set on representing Australia at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
Now she is preparing to live her Olympic dream next month after the Australian women’s eight team won the final London qualification event in Lucerne, Switzerland, last month.
Hagan said her life ‘‘changed for the better’’ when her crew, which was only put together recently, secured a place in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
‘‘Three months ago I never would have thought this was possible but when Rowing Australia decided to send a women’s eight to the last Olympic qualification regatta there was a glimpse of hope,’’ she said.
But Hagan said even when her Phoebe St anl ey- s t roked c r ew finally arrived at Lucerne for the qualifying round, there was still no guarantee they would receive a pass to London, with a top two position required to book their place at this year’s Olympics.
‘‘We had two options, either qualify and stay in Europe and train until the Games or not qualify and be on the next plane home,’’ she said.
‘‘Thankfully we are staying in Europe and living the dream.’’
The former South West Academy of Sport scholarship holder and Bunbury Catholic College student said she was looking forward to wearing the green and gold at the world’s biggest athletic event.
‘‘It’s a hard feeling to describe and also to take on board but to be able to represent your county at the highest level is a dream come true,’’ she said.
Hagan said she couldn’t have achieved her dream without all the support she had received.
‘‘It just wouldn’t have been possible without it,’’ she said.
‘‘We had hurdle after hurdle thrown at us but we came out on top and now have the opportunity of a lifetime.
‘‘To think that at the start of this year I was still sculling and to completely change to sweep oar and be in the Australian Olympic eight still amazes me.
‘‘My goal was to go to the Games in 2016 and here I am in 2012! I couldn’t ask for any more.’’
The 2012 London Olympic Games will be held from July 27 to August 12.