SMITH Anabelle < Back  
Sport Diving
CGA Australia   
Gender Women
Born 03 Feb 1993 in Melbourne, AUS
Height1.61 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Occupation Athlete
Languages English
Higher education Exercise and Health Science - Australian Catholic University: Australia
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She began diving in 2005 in Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Why this sport? She was inspired to try diving after watching the sport on television during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. "I was the sort of kid in my backyard, teaching myself backflips on my trampoline and always had that aerial awareness. Diving is different and challenging and not many people really know about it. One day my parents took me to a diving holiday programme. My cousin tried diving before and I was kind of interested, so I gave that a go. Some of the coaches there saw that I had some natural talent and looked like I had potential. It was just really skyrocketed from there."
Club / Team Victorian Institute of Sport [VIS]: Melbourne, VIC, AUS
General Interest
Nicknames Belle (rio2016.olympics.com.au, 07 Aug 2016)
Hobbies Sports, travel, supporting Australian rules football team Richmond. (gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement Winning a bronze medal in 3m synchronised springboard at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Most influential person in career Her parents. (gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Hero / Idol US basketball player Stephen Curry, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, Australian sprinter Cathy Freeman. (vis.org.au, 01 May 2018; gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Injuries In October 2015 a rib injury forced her to pull out of an event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (rio2016.olympics.com.au, 26 Oct 2015)

She crushed her finger in a gym training incident in 2013. She returned to the sport in June that year, having been out of the water for three months. (au.sports.yahoo.com, 02 Jun 2013)

She sprained her ankle in December 2008. (thesportsvault.com.au, 14 May 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto "As an athlete, I constantly strive for progress. At training, if I am not moving forward, I'm moving backwards. If I hit a plateau or feel stagnant, it usually results in me losing motivation. So I do everything I can to find improvement every day." (anabellesmith.net, 21 Oct 2020)
Awards and honours She was named Most Outstanding Female Diver of the Year by the Victorian Institute of Sport in Australia in nine consecutive years between 2011 and 2019. (vis.org.au, 28 Oct 2019)

She received the Sarah Tait Spirit Award at the 2016 Victorian Institute of Sport Award of Excellence evening. (Victorian Institute of Sport Facebook page, 01 Dec 2016)

She was named the 2009 Australian Junior Elite Female Diver of the Year. (Australian Commonwealth Games Team Handbook, 2010)
Ambitions To win a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (exclusiveinsight.com, 19 Mar 2019)
Other information MISSING 3M SYNCHRO IN TOKYO
She and 3m synchronised springboard partner Maddison Keeney were unable to take part in the final qualification event for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after Diving Australia pulled out of the World Cup in early May 2021 due to safety concerns related to COVID-19. "To have our team's opportunity to qualify [for Tokyo] in remaining events removed is truly devastating. Maddi and I have been stripped of our chance to defend our Olympic bronze medal, in an event [3m synchronised springboard] we have pushed the boundaries in since Rio." (reuters.com, 24 Apr 2021)

EARLY DAYS
The time she spent away from her family while preparing for her first Olympic Games in 2012 was a turning point for her as a person and as an athlete. "Eighteen months prior [to the 2012 Olympic Games], I moved away from home. I have always been super independent and self-sufficient, but I also am a huge family girl and love being home. But moving to be closer to the national team programme was essential for my diving career and helped me achieve my goal of making my first Olympics. However, I struggled really badly at stages and found myself in some dark places. I internalised a lot because I didn't want anyone to worry about me, but it was really, really hard. I eventually moved back home to Melbourne and reached out for professional help. We began to break down the beliefs I had formed about myself during the hard times and it made me understand why I had begun to think or feel in a certain way. It was a wonderful learning and healing process and I am proud of the strong, independent, passionate, and driven woman I have become today. My sport is great, but it is not my everything. My family is my everything and so I cherish that more now than I ever did in the past." (exclusiveinsight.com, 19 Mar 2019)

CRUSHED FINGER
In 2013 she injured her finger while training at the Victorian Institute of Sport in Melbourne, VIC, Australia. A box she was standing on collapsed, and the middle finger on her right hand fell between the weight plates of a machine. She tore every ligament in her finger and the fingertip was held on by a few millimetres of flesh. She underwent three months of rehabilitation before she could return to the water, and had to wear a hand brace for a further five months. "They didn't tell me [it was gone forever], they told me I'd done a good job and we can fix it. I don't have full movement in that finger. It doesn't really stop me doing anything." (heraldsun.com.au, 29 Jul 2014)

FURTHER EDUCATION
She has studied algebra and trigonometry through Open Universities Australia and the University of South Australia. "The confidence study provides me in knowing that I can continue to grow my career when I retire from elite sport is really comforting. Studying online has enabled me to pursue my studies and be overseas to compete at the same time. I feel like I'm at the end half of my career [speaking in 2018]. I think I'll take a break [from studying after graduating university] and just focus on the rest of my diving career, and when that's all over I have to enter the real world, start looking for work. But I'll definitely stay in this sporting field." (sbs.com.au, 28 Nov 2018; open.edu.au, 20 Apr 2017)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She has served as a member of the Australian Institute of Sport [AIS] Athlete Advisory Committee. (anabellesmith.net, 21 Oct 2020)