Balmoral Swim: Dual Olympian Elka Whalan to take part in the iconic open water swimming event.
GET YOUR TOGS ON MOSMAN - THE BALMORAL SWIM IS HERE AGAIN! NOW IN ITS 28th YEAR, THE EVENT IS ONE OF THE FEW OPEN WATER RACES IN SYDNEY HARBOUR, ATTRACTING MORE THAN 1000 PEOPLE ANNUALLY. DUAL OLYMPIAN ELKA WHALAN IS THRILLED TO BE ON BOARD AS A COMMENTATOR FOR 2019 - AND SHE SPOKE WITH ANNA USHER THIS WEEK.
Anna: We’re so thrilled that you’re back in Balmoral this year Elka! Is the whole gang competing?
Elka: Yes, yes we will all be there - Team Whalan x 6 ha ha! My husband Thomas is swimming the 1km, Nevada and Edison (aged 8 and 7) will swim in the Junior Event - our cheerleaders will be Presley and Evita, and I’m going to commentate!
Anna: Why choose Balmoral Swim as a charity event to support?
Elka: The community of Mosman, the Balmoral Beach Club, and Nippers hold such a special place in our hearts! We lived here for a few years and we’ve always maintained a close relationship with Cathy Mackay (the first female president of BBC).
Anna: Is it true you have a fear of ocean swimming?
Elka: Yes! I wear black goggles if I’m swimming off shore and I won’t look at the bottom! Funnily enough, neither will our eldest daughter Nevada.
Anna: What happens when you get anxious out there in the water?
Elka: The best way for me to stay calm is to swim in the middle of the pack on the way out to the island - then turn around that bouy and sprint to the front as soon as I can! My parents always said the sharks eat the outer-circle first, so stay in the middle of the pack!
Anna: Even though you guys live in the eastern suburbs now, you spend most weekends in Mosman don’t you?
Elka: Yes it’s true Anna! We have so many close friends in Mosman and Balmoral is good for the soul. We just love it.
Anna: Are the kids showing promise in the pool?
Elka: We’re lucky, because they all love the water. Zero pressure, but we do hope the genetic genes kick in naturally for them.
Anna: What are the differences between ocean swimming and pool swimming?
Elka: No lanes, no chlorine, sea creatures, lice - and you have a messier stroke!
Anna: Best advice for novices who are open water swimming for the first time?
Elka: The Balmoral Swim isn’t about winning - it’s about coming together to do something as a community for a brilliant cause. The best advice I can give as an athlete would be to say “get a great start - and wade out as far as you can”.
Anna: A big part of your life is about giving back isn’t it?
Elka: For me, life is about serving others, giving to others, and saying yes to brilliant causes like the Balmoral Swim. Your fruit was never meant for your consumption! Give, give, give - always!
BALMORAL SWIM - SUN 7th APRIL