The West

Sunderland sets sights on Rio
Sunderland sets sights on Rio

Back on home soil after his Olympic debut in London, track cyclist Scott Sunderland already has his sights set on the Rio 2016 games.

The former Busselton Senior High School student made his way to the England earlier this month to represent Australia in the three-man team sprint cycle.

The trio placed fourth after Germany beat them by just over one-thousandth of a second.

Speaking to the Times while in town visiting family and friends, Sunderland said his time in London was something he would remember for the rest of his life despite the disappointment at narrowly missing out on a medal.

“Being world champions it was hard to finish fourth especially being so close to a medal,” he said.

“All three of us gave it our best shot, but we just didn’t have it on the day, it’s the way things happen sometimes, but fourth is still pretty amazing.”

While he listed some of his most memorable moments as meeting Kobe Bryant and Russell Brand, Sunderland said the best memories would come from the time he spent with other members of the cycling team at the Olympics village before and after racing.

“Walking through the (athlete) village, it was pretty special thinking all the best athletes in the world were in this one spot,” he said.

Sunderland also wanted to thank Busselton residents for the many letters they sent to him in London.

“It was a pretty special experience getting there and receiving a big parcel of letters and flicking through it.”

Asked whether he now feels like an Olympian, Sunderland remained modest but said it was a unique experience taking part in the Adelaide parade, where he now lives, and being approached for his autograph.

For now, Sunderland will return to the cycling track in Japan for the next four months after he was selected as one of three international cyclists to compete in keirin racing, before returning to prepare for the world championships in Belarus in February.

“There’s four years to go until we can redeem ourselves (at the Olympic Games) and we will take it one year at a time and hopefully it will put us in a good spot,” he said.

As for advice for any budding Olympians in Busselton?

“I think you just have to believe in yourself and anything can happen,” Sunderland said.

“If you are passionate enough you will find a way, it doesn’t matter where you come from.”

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