Duncan Free

This is a journal of my journey to the 2012 London Olympics. The highs, the lows, the good times, the bad times, the fast times and the not so fast (slow) times. The new challenges that lay ahead and the people around me during those times are the enjoyable things I look forward to.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's been a while since my last post..... just after Beijing actually. Well I did enjoy my 2009 year off, put on a nice amount of weight (15kg's!) and got extremely unfit. I must say, I hated it. I did enjoy getting fit again though.

2010 was a bit of an ordinary year with Sam Conrad, who I was rowing a pair with, getting injured which put us out of the team for the Worlds in NZ. I was relegated to the single which.....lets say I'm glad its over! Im not a single sculler any more.

2011 season is something I'm looking forward to. Its great to see Drew back in traing now for his assult on London and it looks like Sam is back in action aswell, both doing well and training solid. As for me, I started training at the end of November for about a week, then I went on holidays and injured my back and still working out what's wrong with it. I'd like to think ints getting better. Anyway, had my first erg session today to see how it went. It was just a 20 min piece, and to no suprise have a long way to go!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hannah, Belinda, Melanie ans Simon

Mum, Dad, Anita, Marcus Eugene and Belinda

Crazy cousin Jason

Medal presentation

Out to dinner

Me, Janusz Hooker, Scotty (2X), Jimmy (kayak coach) and
Kenny (K1)

Normality of Life

Its great to be back at home spending time with my lovely wife and beuatiful three children who are now 6, 3 and 2. Being able to have breakfast with them, take the eldest to school, spending time with them throughout the day and of an afternoon and even being at home when they go to bed. This is a luxury that I didn't have alot of while preparing for Beijing. I'm really enjoying it, even though it can be dirty hard work changing nappies etc!!

Speaking of hard work, its great having grandparents near by. Both sets do a marvellous job when it comes to babysitting!! Thanks to both sets of grandparents, we are able to go out and do things as a couple, head away for a night or more or even simple things like while I'm training or at work, allowing Belinda to get out to an appointment here and there. Judy (Belindas mum) put her hand up to look after the kids while Eugene (Belindas dad), my parents, my bro and sis all came to Beijing to cheer me on. Thanks Judy, great job.

Many people ask what the best part of the games were. Apart from the race itself and performing under the circumstances, I must say it was simply celebrating the win with not only Drew, but the family and friends we had there.....our georgous wives (Belinda and Melanie), my parents (Reg and Helen), brother and sister (Marcus and Anita), Belindas father (Eugene), and my cousin Jason and his wife Krystal. Drews father Dennis and his grandmother were also there along with friends Simon and Hannah who Belinda and Mel stayed with while in Beijing. Thanks guys for coming, you all being there made it so much better!!

Well Drew had surgery on his back on Friday which went well. Even though he can't do much at all for the next 6 weeks or so, he is recovering well and the surgery gave the instant pain relief that was needed. Looking at the scans and seeing the disc problem, its amazing that he was able to block out the pain and get on with the job for all of our three races....I have to admit at the time I was not showing too much sympathy for Drew and tryed to ignore the injury as much as I could. Not because I have no heart, but becuase I didn't want any other option than for us to race together as per normal and for us to put down a great performance. I'm pretty sure that was Drew's mindset aswell. Its amazing how strong the mind is and the control it has over the body. As Drew put it.....you only have to block the pain signal from the injured area to the brain....simple!! Drew being as focused and as mentally tough as he is, nothing was going to stop that man!!!

He is now resting up at home and I believe preparing for London 2012!!!! :)

Friday, August 22, 2008


What a week. Its been such a great time here....obviously. Winning that race was such a relief and what seemed to be a great weight off the shoulders, particularly with the preparation we had with Drews back. In the 8 days of the regatta, apart from the heat, semi and final...we got to have one row of 4km. As I stated in my last post, a little unorthodox but who says you have to be in the boat everyday??

We knew Canada were going to go out quick and we knew if we were with them at the 1000m mark, we'd go well. For those that didn't see the race, that's exactly what happened. We both went out quick and had good margin on the rest of the field. Then at the 1000m mark (half way) we made a move and got the margin we wanted on Canada and the rest is history.

Crossing that line was one of the best moments of my life. Even better was having my wife Belinda and my parents and bro and sis there to share it all with. It was absolutely fantastic having them all there. I must say that its too hard to my emotions into words.....relief, ecstatic, very proud and over the moon. As you can tell, I'm not really talented when it comes to describing my emotions. The next few hours....or days... after that, I was on a high....actually I still am.

Haven't had a heap of sleep, as everyone else, as you can imagine and we've had a ball since. Its was great to have Belinda and Mel, Drews wife, here. We did much celebrating, some great dinners, watched a few other events, made the most of some hospitality venues, did the Great Wall, and I have to admit the markets and generally soaking up the Olympic atmosphere. As the week goes on, more athletes finish competing and join the party!

It was also great to see James carry the flag and watch the double scull come in also for gold and the four with the sliver, it was a great day for rowing.

Thanks to all those that emailed, sent or sms'd words of support and congratulations. I had sooo many its hard to reply to them all. Looking forward to catching up with everone when I get home.....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Well, our whole time together rowing the pair in the last 3 years with Drew living 1700km away in Melbourne and me on the Gold Coast has been quite unorthodox.....some things never change.

We had our semi today which saw a good outcome with a good win. I guess what we did different this time was that in our three days off after our heat on Saturday, we got to row 4km together on one occasion. The rest of our training was done on an ergo for me and a stationary bike for Drew. This wasn't by choice. For those of you that keep tabs of Drews Blog, you'll know that he has had some back trouble which creates quite an amount of discomfort for him to sit down, let alone row. With all possible thoughts going though both our minds, he soldiered on and was able to get though the 2km race today. What an effort!!

Although traditionally not an ideal preparation, but it goes to show that you can achieve the same result by doing things a little differently, outside the square, somewhat unorthodox! It actually gets you thinking what else in rowing or other areas in your life can you do things out of the ordinary or unheard of that will get you to the same place or even somewhere better??

Anyway, we had a good row today and looking forward to stepping up for the final, along the way praying that Drew back eases up for him!!!

Its great to have family over here aswell. Mum, Dad, Marcus and Anita have been here for a few days and my lovely wife Belinda arrived last night and it was great to see her today.