This article first appeared on the Daily Mail website titled ‘Olympian Genevieve LaCaze (who famously stage-bombed Kylie Minogue at the Commonwealth Games) reveals why she’s more determined than ever to reach the finals ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics‘.
She has faced her fair share of obstacles both on and off the track, but Olympian Genevieve LaCaze said 2016 is shaping up to be her year.
The steeplechase competitor is gearing up to compete in her second Olympic Games, and her road to Rio has been a lot smoother than her 2012 London Olympic bid.
LaCaze missed the qualifying time deadline to compete at the Summer Olympics by two days, prompting people to show their support for the athlete under the Twitter hashtag #LetLaCazeRun.
‘It was a very humbling experience to have so many people get behind me,’ the 26-year-old told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The majority of people were in my corner, and it was a great feeling.’
Their support proved successful, and LaCaze was selected by Athletics Australia to represent her country.
But this year, things are different.
LaCaze has successfully qualified to compete in both the 3000m Steeplechase and 5000m at Rio, and said she feels ‘like a different athlete’.
‘After missing out on the final for the London Olympics in 2012, and then placing fifth in Glasgow, I am hungrier than ever to be in that Olympic final for the 3000m steeplechase versing the top 15 women in the world,’ she said.
LaCaze credits her top achievements on the track as qualifying for the London Olympics, running a personal best in the 3000m steeplechase in 2012 and placing fifth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
It was there that the fun-loving athlete made headlines again, this time for stage bombing Kylie Minogue’s performance at the Closing Ceremony.
With an Australian flag in hand LaCaze jumped on stage during one of Minogue’s costume changes and danced for almost a minute, later saying she had no regrets.
When asked if she would do it again, she cheekily replied: ‘only if there is someone worth dancing too’.
As far as events go, the steeplechase has to be one of the toughest.
The race requires aerobic fitness as well as explosive power to make it over the obstacles, and is made even more difficult when you factor in the other competitors that crowd the track.
Her training sees LaCaze run up to 16km in one track session and perform 18km worth of hill reps.
She credits the use of topical gel Flexiseq as helping her recovery.
LaCaze’s determination has been made even more so by the fact that she broke her ankle in 2013, putting her out of action for four months.
The injury saw her lose all the muscle in her right leg and foot and she had to re-build her strength from scratch.
‘Training days became more demanding than when I was healthy because you have to work ten times harder when coming back from injury because you are trying to return to full health and get strong, fit and fast again,’ she said.
After the Olympics, LaCaze will continue to race in Europe until her season ends in September.
‘I have had a great build up so far and a great block of uninterrupted training for well over a year now,’ she said.
‘2016 is looking to be my best year by far.’