She is a mother on a mission and she is off to the Rio Olympics in Taekwondo to realise a lifetime dream. Andrea Kilday may look like a petite kiwi Mum but she is a lean, mean fighting machine. Having qualified for the Beijing Olympics but not selected Andrea has persevered and committed herself to her sporting goal. Rio will be the accumulation of her life’s sporting work and she is set to triumph on the worlds greatest sporting stage…..
When did you first want to go to the Olympics?
For me it was when I was about 12/13 watching the Olympics on TV. I was into lots of different sports land I did athletics and loved watching the long jump. Then I started Taekwondo and when taekwondo came into the Olympics 2000 it was became my main goal. I said to myself ‘I’m going to go to the Olympics in taekwondo”.
What does it mean to you to be an Olympian?
How do you feel as a female athlete representing NZ as a role model
I train with my club and there is younger female athletes there and they’re always asking for help and I can see they look up to m. It’s a nice feeling that people actually look up to you and they you can help them out. It’s cool to be able to show them some techniques.
Describe one of your hardest training sessions in the last 6 months
One of the hardest one would be before I got selected for Rio we had one of our coaches take us through a fitness session. It was 30seconds full on kicking and then 20seconds rest for 12-15 rounds. By the end you just feel like you want to chuck up. Also I’ve just come back from Thailand and training in the heat ove there 4 times a day was really hard. You end up getting quite dehydrated because you’ve got all the gear on.
When you walk out to compete in Rio what will be the last thing you tell yourself?
Go out and have fun and enjoy it. I just want to do my best for NZ.
What will you have for breakfast before you compete in Rio?
I like to have pancakes and maple syrup with banana. We weigh in the day before so immediately after I’ll have dinner with some carbs. Then that morning I’ll have my breakfast and then go off and fight.
Aside from life as an elite athlete what else makes you get out of bed in the morning?
I’ve got two boys so that gets me out of bed. My family motivate me because I want to show them what you can do if you have got a goal and you stick to it you can achieve it. You have to get up, get going and try.
What’s your ideal rest day?
At the moment my Sunday is my rest day so I just chill out. It’s nice to spend time with my boys. Other than Sunday everyday is training.
If you weren’t dominating the sporting world what would you be doing?
I don’t really know what I’d do if I wasn’t playing sport! I guess I would just looking after my sons as their Mum.
Finally, If you had the chance to acknowledge someone who has helped you get to this point in your sporting career who would it be and why?
It would have to be my partner Desmond. He taught me a lot about taekwondo. If I hadn’t met him I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Secondly, my friends that are in taekwondo that I’ve been able to train with and travel with. They’ve all been amazingly supportive. Photo credit: Andrea Kilday