Learning from the best: Olympic Champion Ariarne Titmus Shares Her Journey

At just 21, swimmer Ariarne Titmus knows a bit about winning.

She etched her name into Australian sports history by winning two gold medals in the 200 and 400-metre freestyle at this year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.


After returning to Australia with a silver and bronze medal also slung around her neck, Ariarne reflected with CEO Charles Cameron and her mum Robyn, Senior Client Partner at OnTalent, on her journey and the dedication it takes to live a champion’s lifestyle.


“You don’t have to be a perfectionist to make it to that level, you just need to live your life the correct way, you can’t view training or dieting as chores, they have to be a lifestyle,” Ariarne said.


“Your mentality also plays a big factor in how you approach this lifestyle, you need to have a positive mindset and will to win,” she said.


With the non-stop lifestyle and 24/7 will to win mentality that accompanies a professional athlete, or any working professional for that matter, Ariarne also needs to control emotions under pressure and has techniques for emotional release.


“Cooking is really good for me, it helps me relax and forget about the stuff going on in my life and helps me enjoy something completely different to being an athlete,” Ariarne explained.


“I think sometimes when it’s really tough at training, I have to hold it together while at the pool and keep it together, keep it all in.


“It’s when I get home I think it comes out a little bit and that’s when mum and dad are on the receiving end,” she joked.


“It’s at home the emotions need to come out because when I get back to the pool I need to be able to switch back on.”


Ariarne said she believed these approaches to winning and striving towards a successful lifestyle can be applied by anyone, whether that’s in their personal or professional lives.


These insights from the mind of a champion into factors of dedication and what it takes to be a high performer could also be used by recruitment professionals when evaluating the attributes of candidates, an approach strongly supported and used by Robyn.


With a combined 30 years in recruitment and HR, Robyn Titmus has experienced a lot. As a recruitment consultant, Robyn often reflects on both her personal sporting history and the attributes she witnesses in her Olympic gold-winning daughter and applies this to her professional life to evaluate candidates during interviews.


“During interviews, there are personal traits and attributes that often come out that really highlight a person as a high achiever,” Robyn said.


“These are traits often found in high achieving athletes that really sets candidates apart from the rest, things like focus, commitment, work ethic, and resilience, all major characteristics of an ideal candidate,” she said.


Reflecting on her own sporting history as a track and field athlete, Robyn said she understood the amount of motivation and commitment required to be successful in any field, whether that’s on the track or at a desk. “The main difference between me and Ariarne is I was an athlete on land, not in the water,” Robyn joked. “Early on I loved track and field, running through my teens and up into my twenties, totally motivated.


“I got so much from this experience. You learn self-motivation, self-disciple, attributes I believe I have taken with me into my professional life and factors I often search for during interviews.”


With no end in sight to what Ariarne can accomplish, she has high ambitions to further her swimming career. “I plan to swim for two more Olympics, that takes me to 28, after that, I am still figuring out what I want to do. I would like to switch into something I am passionate about.”


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