Congratulations Mary Fisher on your nomination for Wellington Sports Woman of the Year 2016!
We caught up with Mary to find out more about her road to success.
How have you got to the level you are now? / what are your keys to success
and where do you draw your inspiration from?
From a 9yr old swimming twice a week to representing NZ has been an intense and
bumpy journey which has succeeded because of persistence and hard work. In
saying this, I wouldnˇt have been able to persevere or work hard without a
large group of peoplenamely my parents, coaches, teammates and a broad range
of sports staff whoˇve supported me to improve in many areas.
Aiming to give everything possible to each practice, having big dreams but also
concrete short-term goals and keeping balance to life have definitely helped.
People who push boundaries in a variety of areas to enhance society inspire
What obstacles have you overcome to get to where you are?
Learning technique has always been difficult compared to a sighted swimmer who
can easily watch a coach demonstrating beside the pool or a video. My coach and
I just need to communicate closely to combat this. Sometimes logistics of
getting to and from training are a bit tricky – for the last year Iˇve moved my
life to Auckland to focus on Rio. However, the biggest hurdle is the mental
barriers I put against myselflearning to move those has helped me achieve more
than I ever thought possible.
What is your advice to young female athletes?
Itˇs hard when people make assumptions about you. Weˇre bombarded with how a
young female should look and act often different from a strong, confident
athlete. Enjoy your sport, be yourself and know that if you want something
enough it can be achieved.
What is your ultimate sporting goal?
To swim personal best times in Riohopefully that could bring home a medal.
Also to see sport as inclusive and young people with an impairment feeling
confident to try new things and be a part of their community, including sports.
Wanting to know if I can travel faster and more efficiently through the water
than Iˇve ever been is also a motivator. London 2012 really showed me how
lucky we are in NZ to have this opportunity when many young women globally do
Do you have any quirky rituals before competing?
Not really. Iˇm pretty boring on race day! I donˇt listen to music, eat a
particular food or do anything like walking four times around the changing
rooms. At lengthy competitions like the Paralympic Games (10 days of swimming)
my first race is day 2 and my last on day 9 so Iˇll try to fall into a routine
of eating, sleeping and racing well. Each night I prepare all my gear for the
next day and make a timeline to the minute, working back from when I will
race. Having enough time to warm up, put racing togs on (with a bit extra in
case of a rip) and get to the marshalling area all help me remain calm and
Fave thing to eat post race?
So many options! A smoothie or milkshake never go amiss. 兒
Photo credit – Courtesy of Photosport