Commonwealth Games athlete Victoria Mitchell spoke to us about her path to this year's Games and her love of Mini-Mos.
1. Firstly, congratulations on being selected in the Australian Commonwealth Games team. How did you find out?
I knew when I crossed the finish line first at the National Championships/Commonwealth Trials that I had secured automatic nomination for Commonwealth Games. I had made the team.
2. How did you feel when you were told? Did you do anything to celebrate?
I felt relieved that I had performed under pressure. Also satisfied and happy. I didn’t do anything to celebrate apart from having the next day off training.
3. You will compete in the 3000m steeplechase, for those who don’t know, can you explain what this race is exactly?
The steeplechase is like distance hurdles except the hurdles are called ‘barriers’ because they don’t fall down and there is a water jump each lap. We jump 35 times, 7 of those being water jumps in which we need to clear a barrier and an expanse of water.
4. When did you first get into athletics?
I did Little Athletics, so I’ve been competing in athletics since Primary School age.
5. When you were in primary school, did you ever imagine you’d run at the Commonwealth Games one day?
I never thought of competing in Olympics or Commonwealth Games until I was in high school. I set the goal of running in the Olympics when I was in Year 7 or 8.
6. At what point did you know you could compete professionally?
When I won a silver medal at the University Games in Izmir, Turkey.
7. I read that horse show jumping had a bit to do with your chosen event?
I grew up riding and competing in equestrian. I made the Victorian State Show Jumping Squad but when I went to University in Ballarat I had to stop riding. I always had a ‘natural eye’ for jumping which meant knowing where the take off point is and how to get the horse there in a good position/frame. I feel that translated to when I ran and jumped on foot too.
8. What or whom has supported/inspired you along your journey as a professional athlete to get you to where you are today?
I was encouraged by many people along the way beginning with my High School P.E teacher Steve Ward. I was supported largely by my Mum early on, taking me to training and competitions as I couldn’t take myself. All my coaches in order; John Routledge, Richard Huggins, Rod Griffin, Joe Franklin, Nic Bideau, Tim O, Sean Williams and my current coaches Pete and Ris Good.
9. What’s your training schedule like in the lead up to the Games?
My training schedule remains similar to what I usually do but will include a taper leading into the Games.