Ty Swadling has reached some significant life milestones in the last few months.
The Cardiff trampolinist turned 30, welcomed the arrival of his first child Cooper and claimed an “unreal” bronze medal with Australian teammate Dominic Clarke in the men's synchronised division at the World Championships in Russia.
And while Swadling hasn’t completely ruled out having a dip at representing his country at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, he admits “priorities have changed a little bit” in recent times.
“You never say never,” Swadling told the Newcastle Herald. “But for me at the moment it’s just one foot in front of the other.”
The main sporting focus now for Swadling, a high school PE teacher by trade, is helping Australia earn a coveted Olympic spot in two years time.
That qualification period starts in February and goes through until April, 2020. It features six World Cup events and the 34th World Championships in Japan from November 28 next year.
Each nation can only claim a maximum two of 16 available Olympic positions, with half determined by the top World Championship rankings. The remaining eight come down to points collected at World Cup meets.
There’s no synchronised section at the Games, just individual.
“Now it’s about qualifying Australia a spot at the [Olympic] Games,” Swadling said.
“From there we have our own trials and see which athlete will go.”
Swadling, who still trains at Belmont under national coach Brett Austin, hasn’t made the Olympics previously but has worn the green and gold uniform, from juniors through to seniors, every year since 2002.
The most recent in Saint Petersburg last month marked his eighth World Championships appearance, a journey which started in 2007.
“I remember watching an Aussie pair [Scott Brown and Ben Wilden] win silver at my first World Championships and then thinking I want to do that,” Swadling said.
“So this medal was 11 years in the making.”
Swadling said receiving bronze on the international podium was a “career highlight” alongside the same type of World Championship medal for teams in 2013.
However, the 2018 version was the culmination of a larger chain of events.
In April he combined with a different partner, Aiden Thomas, to clinch silver in the same synchronised event at the Pacific Rim Championships in Colombia.
He then almost missed the September selection trials, which were held on the Gold Coast just 36 hours after the birth of his son.
“There were quite a lot of factors which could have quite easily gone the other way,” Swadling said. “Fortunately they didn’t.”
Swadling’s wife Christine, herself a trampolinist who retired from competing in 2015, will head to Tokyo on Sunday for a training camp in her role as a NSW high performance coach.