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Published on 04 August 2021

Glen Eira Leisure's Olympian

In the spirit of the Tokyo Olympics we sat down with our very own GEL Olympian to find out more about her journey. Lillian Leal-Ramirez is our Aquatic Programs Supervisor and twice competed as an Olympian for Mexico. Here is what she had to say about the experience:

Please tell us what sport you excelled in and what major events you were able to participate in?

My sport was Artistic Swimming (called Synchronised Swimming back then). I participated in 2 Olympic Games (Sydney 2000 and Atlanta 1996), as well as World Championships, World Cups, Panamerican and Centroamerican Games.

How did you get started in Synchronised swimming?

One day I was having my swimming lessons at our local pool at the age of 8yo, and a coach approached me to ask if I would like to try it. I did and I loved it, and from that time on I continued to practice it for 18 more years!.

Did you participate in both solo and teams events? If so who was your partner?

Yes, solo, duet and team. For Sydney 2000 my sister was my duet partner.

What is your fondest memory of participating in the Olympics?

The Olympic Games of Sydney 2000 were fantastic! The whole city was welcoming and excited about the games and we, the athletes could feel it. Volunteers, organization, venues, were great and my parents were able to come and watch. At competition day, seconds before the start of our routine, I remember my father cheered on my sister and me so loud that he lost his voice for many days! “GO LILI AND ERIKA!”

The whole Aquatic Centre with 17,000 spectators were able to hear that! 

What are you enjoying most about the Tokyo Olympics?

I love to watch all the sports, all the athletes, and celebrate the effort and sacrifices they have made to make it there, and this time my kids are old enough to enjoy the Games with me 😊

What advice do you have for members of the GEL community who want to be Olympians?

You need to LOVE what you do and ENJOY the journey!

 

Check out our Facebook page or Instagram to see footage of Lillian in action at the Sydney 2000 Olympics!

Lillian competed for Mexico in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics
She partnered with her sister Erika for the Duet Competition in 2000

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