As competitors begin to arrive in London for the Olympic Games, one athlete has had an epic journey having swum all of the way from her home in the distant Pacific Ocean quite literally to the shores of the United Kingdom.
Awa Nuru is the lone representative of the Tulu Islands and will be competing in the synchronised swimming event next month. She expressed surprise at the reception she received after coming ashore opposite the O2 arena, as she was swamped by a tide of journalists, ‘What’s the big deal? Swimming comes naturally to us in the Tulus. We are an impoverished island state and we are all encouraged to swim everywhere, especially since the rising sea levels are expected to swamp us completely within the next 10 years,’ she explained, adding, ‘whilst I’m here, I’m hoping that I can learn a little from the Greeks about bail out techniques.’
Nuru, 19, was asked for an assessment of her medal prospects, especially considering that solo synchronised swimmers had a poor history of success in this event. ‘I realise that I seem to be the only swimmer,’ she admitted, ‘but I’ve not given up hope that my team mates will arrive in time to compete. I lost touch with them during a storm as we were crossing the Bay of Biscay. Until then we had remained in perfect formation although our mascara was beginning to run.’
Awa agreed that it had been a long journey crossing the Pacific then Atlantic oceans, but she said these things were all relative and it was important to keep a sense of perspective. ‘Yes, it took a long time, but from what I hear from my fellow competitors, it was nothing compared with the hellish journey they had to endure to get from Heathrow Airport to the Olympic Village.’