Bec Henderson, team member at Kingswim Narre Warren, is set make her Olympic debut at this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
Bec is part of the Australian Athletics Team and will compete in the women’s 20km race walk. At only 20 years old, she’s the youngest athlete in the event.
Travelling alongside her coach, Bec is excited to compete, knowing that her family will be watching closely from home.
“I like racing and I can’t wait to get out there and race against some of the best, it’s so exciting,” she said.
When COVID swooped in and postponed the World Athletics U20 Championships and the 2020 Olympic Games, Bec took advantage of the extra year to train. She challenged herself and conquered a 10km and two 20km race walks. She placed in the top three Australians and qualified for the senior age group.
“For me, the cancellation was a good thing. You can improve so much in a year, so I stayed motivated and trained in order to be better.”
Bec enjoyed sport from a young age and initially joined Little Athletics to have fun with her cousins. She admits that she wasn’t the best at first.
“I wasn’t very good, I would always come last. And if I got second last, we would all celebrate.”
But it wasn’t long before Bec won her very first race walk, followed by several wins at state level.
“When I won my first race I remember my mum calling my dad from the side of the track saying, ‘She’s winning! She’s winning!’.”
Not only is Bec a race walk champion, but a star swimmer too. She placed fourth in the 10km Open Water Nationals, but was unable to attend the 2021 trials due to lockdown restrictions.
“For many people in Victoria who couldn’t get to the swimming trials in Adelaide due to the lockdown, it was very tough.”
The Olympics will take place without spectators this year, but even with the limited format, it’s great that athletes like Bec are still able to travel and take part.
Tune in and cheer Bec on as she competes in the 20km race walk event on Friday 6 August at 5.30pm AEST.
Send your well wishes to Bec!