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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 3 March 2021

Australian actor and singer Cody Simpson qualifies for Olympic swimming trials ahead of Tokyo Games

The 23-year-old joins stars such as Jason Statham, Geena Davis and Princess Anne in reaching the top of their chosen sports

Australian singer Cody Simpson, Britain's Princess Anne, and Iron Maiden frontman, Bruce Dickinson have all achieved high rankings and distinctions in their chosen sports of swimming, eventing and fencing. Instagram, Twitter, Shutterstock
Australian singer Cody Simpson, Britain's Princess Anne, and Iron Maiden frontman, Bruce Dickinson have all achieved high rankings and distinctions in their chosen sports of swimming, eventing and fencing. Instagram, Twitter, Shutterstock

The news that Australian actor and singer Cody Simpson, who recently dated Miley Cyrus, has qualified for Olympic trials in the 100-metre butterfly, has proved a bright spot at the end of 2020 as the accomplished 23-year-old took one step closer to competing in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo next year.

Simpson, who has appeared on TV shows such as Cougar Town and Disney’s Sonny With A Chance, qualified for the Australian Olympic trials, which will take place next year ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in July, by swimming the 100m butterfly in 54.9 seconds, comfortably within the qualifying time of 56.87 seconds.

“I just qualified for my first Olympic trials,” Simpson wrote on Instagram. “I’d love to share this personal milestone and let you in on my current journey as an athlete that I’ve kept relatively low key until now.”

Simpson’s coach, Brett Hawke, also took to Instagram to share the achievement, writing: “We’ve been training only… in a country club pool for five months during the pandemic. He did his first set of training dives in a real pool two weeks ago. He qualified for the Australian Olympic trials in his first attempt. Not bad for a pop star.”

And Simpson joins a host of other famous faces who are usually known for their day jobs in acting, singing and being royal, in achieving remarkable success in their favourite sport...

Princess Anne

A talented horsewoman for her entire life, Princess Anne is one of only a handful of royals to have competed at the Olympics. Her appearance at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal followed on from her winning a silver medal in both individual and team disciplines in the 1975 European Eventing Championship, riding her horse, Doublet. However, as a member of the British Eventing team, riding the Queen's horse, Goodwill, in Montreal, the Princess Royal didn’t bring home a medal. That honour went to her daughter, Zara Tindall, who won silver at the 2012 Summer Olympic in London, as part of Great Britain's Eventing team.

Jason Statham

He’s one of Hollywood’s most bankable action stars thanks to starring roles in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and The Expendables 3, but Jason Statham used to make waves in other ways before fame came calling.

Having discovered diving at the age of 11, daily training saw him become a member of Britain’s National Swimming Squad for 12 years and compete in the 1990 Commonwealth Games in the 10 metre, 3m, and 1m events.

“It's a bit of a sore point I never got to the Olympics,” lamented the actor, 53, at the Los Angeles premiere of Mechanic: Resurrection. “I started too late. It probably wasn't my thing. I should have done a different sport.”

Geena Davis

18 Sep 1999 Geena Davis of U.S.A. as the arrow leaves the bow during practice of the Sydney International Goldern Arrow competition - a S.O.C.O.G. test event at Archery Park, Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Adam Pretty/ALLSPORT
'Thelma & Louise' actress Geena Davis reached the semi-final Olympics qualifying stage for the Sydney 2000 Summer Games. ALLSPORT

The 64-year-old actress competed in the 1999 Olympic semi-finals for archery, ahead of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. She placed 29th out of 300 women in the trials, which ultimately didn’t win her a place in the US Olympic squad.

“My archery hadn't become public knowledge until now,” she told The New York Times during the trials. “This was my little secret. I’m just considered one of the archers, but at the beginning, when people saw me shooting, they said, ‘What?’ That was kind of fun, just seeing their reactions.”

Bruce Dickinson

The Iron Maiden frontman might not seem like a likely fencer, but the 62-year-old rocker has been involved in the sport since he was 13. At 15, he won his school’s fencing competition and became captain of the school team, later competing in regional tournaments around Britain during breaks in Iron Maiden’s touring schedule. While living in West Germany in 1987, he trained at the West German National Centre for Fencing in Bonn for six months, and was soon ranked 18th in Britain during the 1987-1988 season. He later worked his way up to be ranked 7th in Britain in the men's foil discipline, while on a club level for the Hemel Hempstead fencing club he represented Great Britain in the European Cup in 1989.

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Updated: December 15, 2020 08:47 PM

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