Farewell Greg

In 2014, Greg Paltrinieri, world 1500m swimming champion, visited a friend in Melbourne that he had met through swimming and as swimmers do, joined him in training.    As it happens that friend is pretty famous in his own right for his swimming success and is our very own Mack Horton.    That month together seeded an idea in Greg’s mind to return to Australia for an extended period of time to train with both Mack and Coach Craig Jackson.    It took sometime within his and Mack’s swimming schedule to enable this to happen and Greg moved to Melbourne last year for a five month stay.   

Sadly today, we farewell him and wish him all the best for the upcoming European Trials and World Cup Open Water Championships. 

Greg has truly endeared himself to us in his time.   He is a man of incredible warmth and generosity, as well as steely determination.   

We asked him what he enjoyed most about his time with Melbourne Vicentre and it was too difficult a question for him to answer.   He has loved so many facets of his visit, but most especially the love and friendship that he has felt by every member of the podium squad and particularly, his now very close friend, Mack.

His goal in coming here is yet to be fully realised as he has not had a chance to prove the value of the temporary change in coaching style, although he is confident that this has served him well in both his personal life and professional swimming.    Greg’s coach in Italy is undoubtedly one of the best in the world having trained him since he was 16 to 2 world championships and Olympic Gold in Rio, yet Greg felt that his time with Craig has enabled him to truly hear many of the same things because they were spoken with a different voice.  He spoke of how much he has enjoyed Craig’s focus on technique and drills and believes that this will pay enormous dividends in the future.    

Greg is almost indiscernible in the water whilst freestyling as his body position is so perfectly flat, any photograph fails to show his face as you can see below.

We asked Greg about the differences in training schedules and he laughed at how much more pleasant his work hours are in Italy training from 9 in the morning rather than the early starts we work with here at MSAC.   He has thoroughly enjoyed stretching himself personally through living alone in an apartment and having to do everything for himself.   At home he lives in a university complex and his fame has resulted in many people offering help in every aspect of life.   He has continued studying for a degree in Politics whilst here in Melbourne and is returning home to sit exams.

Mack has been the hostess of the mostest, taking Greg along to many places and events during his stay.   He recalled of the fun of the Melbourne Cup, the Phillip Island Grand Prix where they were hosted by Ducati, the Australian Open and the many beach swims they have enjoyed together.   He recalled as a big highlight of his stay in Australia, a holiday they enjoyed at Hamilton Island.   In addition, Mack has pushed him every day in training to ensure every moment in the water has been time well spent.

Greg passed on his thanks to Melbourne Vicentre for the opportunity to visit and train with us.    Likewise we are grateful to Greg for sharing his work ethic and for his love and emotional support of our podium squad swimmers, particularly Mack who trains longer and harder than most.    We also extend our thanks to Greg’s Federation for sponsoring his squad fees whilst training with us.

All the best Greg!   We are all cheering you on for Saturday’s Open Water Swim.   May those 10K’s be the fastest and most enjoyable of your life thus far.  

 

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