Class of 2010
Drawn to water, Mitch Larkin’s love of swimming was fostered as a child and developed into a highly-successful competitive career with multiple world records and Olympic titles under his belt.
However, it was not simply a love of swimming that drew Mitch towards the competition, he thrived under the pressure and dedication required against his competitors.
‘I use swimming as a way of challenging myself to become the best version you can be’ Mitch says. ‘This needs to happen on a daily basis otherwise you won’t be able to reach the top.’
It is the drive to improve upon his skills and capabilities, both in the water and in life, that makes Mitch who he is. If being a record holder and Olympian wasn’t enough, Mitch is pursuing a Bachelor of Business and Economics with a major in Property Development at the Queensland University of Technology.
His pursuit of success was fostered at John Paul College, having competed in The Bowes Family Cup for Champions in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He secured the Sporting Award in 2009 and 2010, and was awarded Swimming Captain and Prefect in 2010.
‘Patience and persistence are key, as the body is often pushed to the limit with gruelling training sessions, and the isolation of the training provides its own mental challenges’ says Mitch.
Mitch swims 11 sessions a week in addition to three weight-training sessions and five strength-training sessions out of the pool. The strain on Mitch’s body is alleviated with two weekly physiotherapy sessions and sports massages.
Despite the demanding nature, Mitch describes the feeling of standing behind the starting block as one of the most exciting feelings in the world, and in those moments he couldn’t feel more alive.
He admits that the moment when you touch the wall having finished a race is one of bliss, knowing the hard work has paid off. To see friends and family supporting him is incredibly rewarding.
Competing at an international level there is an inescapable diversity, as Mitch describes that he can only truly grasp his physical and mental capabilities after his comfort zone has been pushed to its limits.
‘For me, it is these challenges that you hate but learn to love, that become incredibly addictive and powerful. You keep striving to achieve more.’
Standout achievements for Mitch include two World Championships in 2015 as a world record holder, a silver and bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and winning five gold medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Mitch says that he is pleasantly reminded of the support he received from JPC in the pursuit of his swimming career. He has met a number of athletes who were not as fortunate to be able to pursue their chosen sport alongside their academic pursuits.
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