Chelsea Jones can remember being glued to the TV, watching Emma McKeon power to a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Four years later, the Bulli teenager is on her pathway to compete at an Olympics. And Jones is on a similar trajectory to her swimming idol by being part of the Illawarra Academy of Sport - McKeon is on the IAS Honour Roll.
"The Olympics are coming up and hopefully in four years, or eight years from now, that could be me. I remember watching the Rio Olympics and I said 'I want to be here one day'," the 15-year-old said.
"I really look up to Emma McKeon because she lives in the Illawarra too and did the exact same program.
"Her dad [Ron] assists and coaches us too. When Emma's around, she joins in at training with us. It's pretty cool when you're training next to your idol."
Jones had an impressive 2019 which included securing seven medals at the Swimming NSW Senior State Age Championships in December. She took home gold in the 400m, 200m and 50m freestyle and finished second in the 100m freestyle.
She also picked up gold, silver and bronze medals in relay events.
Jones now hopes to secure more medals at the national championships in April.
"We also have the country swimming championships in two weeks' time which is a little hit out to see where we're at with all the training we've done over summer," the teenager said.
"My main stroke is freestyle, but I also try do a bit of butterfly too. I train every day, sometimes twice a day. I also do surf club and netball too so pretty much every morning and afternoon is full of some kind of training."
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Jones has entered her second year at the IAS and admits it can be difficult to juggle her training schedule plus school commitments.
But the Woonona High School student is also relishing the challenge.
"Having such a good training environment in all of my sports keeps me motivated," Jones said.
"You just have to sacrifice some things and that's what I love about it. You have to put what you want to achieve first."
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