WALLACE Tessa < Back  
Sport Swimming
CGA Australia   
Gender Women
Born 09 Sep 1993 in Buderim, AUS
Height1.73 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Occupation Athlete
Languages English, French
Higher education Journalism, Public Relations - University of the Sunshine Coast: Australia
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She began swimming competitively at age six after learning to swim as a baby at the Caloundra Aquatic Centre in Queensland, Australia.
Why this sport? "I grew up in a house at the Caloundra Aquatic Centre in Queensland. My dad was a swim coach there so I was in the water from two months old. Being a competitive person and growing up in a highly athletic environment got me interested in racing. I was always eager to be faster than the other swimmers, especially my sister. I was also a competitive gymnast until I was 12 so I had to choose between swimming and gymnastics and well, the rest is history."
Club / Team Pelican Waters Caloundra Swimming Club [AUS] / USC Spartans [AUS]:
International Debut
Year 2010
Competing for Australia
General Interest
Nicknames Tess, T-Wall (london2012.olympics.com.au, 21 Apr 2012; Twitter profile, 13 Apr 2014)
Memorable sporting achievement Winning silver in the 200m breaststroke at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, and qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games. (swimswam.com, 29 Mar 2019)
Most influential person in career Her father John Wallace. (swimswam.com, 29 Mar 2019)
Hero / Idol Australian swimmer Geoff Huegill. (london2012.olympics.com.au, 21 Apr 2012)
Injuries She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2012. After seven months out of the pool she returned to light training in August 2013 and started competing again in December 2013. (sunshinecoastdaily.com.au, 18 Jul 2015, 25 Mar 2014)

She had surgery after tearing the meniscus in her right knee just before the Commonwealth Games trials in March 2010. (sunshinecoastdaily.com, 12 Aug 2010)

She was troubled by a displacement of her pelvis in 2010. (sunshinecoastdaily.com, 12 Aug 2010)

She has suffered from Ross River fever, a virus that causes fatigue and joint inflammation, and was discovered to be anaemic during tests for the virus. (sunshinecoastdaily.com, 24 Dec 2011)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs She drinks green tea instead of coffee before competitions, always straps her goggles above her hair bun and tucks her straps in. (swimswam.com, 29 Mar 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto "You're always nervous for a major meet. However, if you get too nervous too early it's a concern and you've got to keep relaxed and enjoy the ride." (sunshinecoastdaily.com.au, 11 Jul 2014)
Awards and honours In 2012 she was named Sportsperson of the Year by the University of the Sunshine Coast [USC] and received a Blue Award at the USC Sports Awards Ceremony. (usc.edu.au, 24 Oct 2012)
Famous relatives Her father John served as a coach for the Australia national team at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russian Federation. Her mother Vicki has represented Australia in softball. (Wes Thompson YouTube channel, 26 Oct 2019; caloundra-aquatic.com.au, 14 Dec 2017; Swimming Australia, 16 Jun 2010)
Other information EARLY INSPIRATION
She was motivated to swim at the highest level after meeting her idols at the Caloundra Aquatic Centre in Queensland, Australia. "From as young as six I remember wanting to swim for Australia. Teams from all over the world used to visit Caloundra for training camps and in 2000 the Australian swim team used our facilities for their staging camp. Seeing my heroes, and wanting to be like them, was a real turning point for me. I still have the shirt with all their signatures." (swimswam.com, 29 Mar 2019)

LYME DISEASE
She has Lyme disease, a debilitating illness with symptoms including headaches, fevers, and chronic fatigue. In 2016 she became an ambassador for the Lyme Disease Association of Australia. "It is a really difficult situation because there is no cure or proper treatment for the illness. The past few years have been trial and error for me with regards to diet and supplements. The right balance helps me to back up after training sessions. It helps me do more than one or two hard sessions a week but I am still searching for the best maintenance programme for me. I am not sure I will find a cure. I hope I can swim through it though." (Instagram profile, 15 Feb 2020; LinkedIn profile, 2018; lymedisease.org.au, 2018; commentaryboxsports.com, 09 Nov 2016)