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Ivy Miller: Swimming towards the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics

The Bugle App

Malin Dunfors

09 June 2024, 5:20 AM

Ivy Miller: Swimming towards the Brisbane 2032 Summer OlympicsIn the pool. Photo credit: WinkiPoP media.

Local swimmer 17-year-old Ivy Miller, whose long-term goal is the 2032 Summer Games in Brisbane, will swim her first Olympic swimming trials at – that’s right, Brisbane Aquatic Centre –10-15 June.

In between school and her daily swim practice, Miller spoke to The Bugle about how growing up on the South Coast has influenced her swimming career, why her role model is Wollongong native and fellow swimmer Emma McKeon and making the Junior Australian Dolphin team.

At the 2024 Australian Swimming Trials, which is the most prestigious domestic event on the national swimming calendar and where the Australian Olympic swimming squad will be selected, Miller will compete in the women’s 100 meter, and 200 meter, backstroke.

“I’m going into the meet with the main goal of gaining more experience swimming as an open athlete rather than an age group swimmer alongside Australia's world class athletes,” she says.

It will also give her an opportunity not just to compete alongside but also to learn from the best swimmers in the country.

“While at the trials, I hope to be able to race the best I possibly can, with hopefully swimming some personal bests and making it into a final,” she says.

Miller is as home-grown a swimmer as they come. She learned to swim at the Kiama Leisure Centre, and began to swim competitively at the Friday nights’ Kiama Swim Club from around the age of eight.

A major influence in her decision to start racing has been the community of swim lovers within, and around, Kiama, she explains.

“The South Coast and the Illawarra area has a lot of talented swimmers. I’ve been lucky enough through my competitive career to meet and interact with so many other individuals, who also share the same passion of swimming.”

Ivy Miller, an Olympic swimmer in the making. Photo credit: WinkiPoP media.

One could also say that watersports run into her blood. Miller’s aunt, Lily Gladstone, and uncle, Greg Miller, are both ex-IronWoman and IronMan respectively, who competed in the Uncle Toby’s Super Series. Her grandma, Geraldine Miller, was an ex-Australian Surf Life Saving (SLS) coach and her dad, Grahame Miller, was a bodyboarder on the world tour.

“This naturally led me to be brought into both swimming and SLS as a young girl, but also my parents exposed me to these sports so I would be able to safely enjoy the beautiful coastline of our area,” she says. 

“Even while just having fun participating in these activities, trying to pursue them competitively was a natural progression for me since I’m a competitive person.”

Miller currently swims for the Wests Illawarra Aquatic Swim Club at the University of Wollongong Pool under coach Pat Stellino.

She finds her swimming squad to be a major motivator, with everyone working off each other in pursuing their goals.

To be committed to her goals is actually one of her main strengths as a swimmer, Miller says, along with being very  driven.

“I’m able to get myself up and out of bed in the early hours, get into the cold outdoor pool and put all my energy into having the best possible session I can have, at that point.”

Someone who’s shown her that it’s definitely worth putting in the work and effort is Emma McKeon, who made history by winning seven gold medals at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. That is the most medals won by any woman in any sport.

“She’s a Wollongong girl that’s now one of Australia’s most decorated swimmers, which is an amazing achievement. She’s also a very kind and humble person, who I’ve been lucky to meet a few times.

“It’s also inspiring that she's a local girl, who also started out at Wests Illawarra Aquatic, showing that hopefully I can also do this, too,” says Miller. 

As she looks to the future, her goals are making the Junior Australian Dolphins Team and/or the Australian Dolphins Team and qualifying for the LA 2028 Summer Olympics or the 2032 Brisbane Summer Olympics. 

We look forward to seeing her at both.