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Olympic Rower heads to Beijing on a high note

Media release

C199/08

10 July 2008

Olympic rower and Curtin University of Technology student Natalie Bale and her rowing-8 team will be leaving for the Beijing Olympics on a wave of success.

They have just won gold and silver on the European Rowing Circuit and will be representing Australia in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Curtin Nursing student and stroke-side rower, who has just returned from Italy where her team was based, is in Perth for a well-earned break with her family before leaving for the Olympic city later this month.

The 22 year-old took up competitive rowing in 2000 and has already earned a number of gold and silver medals since 2003.

As if her Olympic commitment and nursing studies aren’t enough to keep her busy, Natalie is also a member of the “Premier’s Physical Taskforce”.

As part of the taskforce, Natalie and other high profile Western Australians promote physical activity through programs and services in schools, workplaces and out in the community.

Natalie said qualifying for the Olympics was a dream comes true, but her priority after the Olympics was to complete her nursing degree.

“It has been very challenging to maintain my studies and train five hours a day, six days a week, but it is absolutely necessary at this level of competitive racing.” she said.

Curtin’s Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health Sciences, Professor Barbara Horner congratulated Natalie on her significant achievement.

“Curtin is very proud of its cohort of 2008 Olympians who are also meeting the every day challenges of tertiary study,” Professor Horner said.

“We applaud and support outstanding athletes like Natalie who have shown commitment and dedication in everything they do. It is an amazing achievement and Curtin is one hundred per cent behind them.”

Natalie said she is looking forward to concentrating on her degree when she gets back from Beijing.

Modified: 10 July 2008