They’re two of Australia’s strongest athletes, picking up a gold medal with their Rugby Sevens teammates at last year’s Olympic Games. Here, Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry talk health and fitness to help you get and stay motivated this summer.
Q. Firstly, how did it feel to win gold in Rio?
A. Sharni: Proud and overwhelming. I had just accomplished a dream I set as an eight-year-old kid with my amazing team mates.
Shannon: It is honestly still surreal. I get goosebumps every time I talk about it and recall moments especially ones from the final.
Q. How do you prepare your bodies for such intense competition?
A. Sharni: Preparation. It's a balance of the right food, exercise and timing. You want to be peaking at your optimum come competition time.
Shannon: To be honest, our bodies where in the best possible shape once we left Australia which is an absolute credit to Peta Cariage (nutritionist), Claire Deane (physio) and Craig Twentymen (S&C). We were in the best shape of our lives and nothing was going to derail our Olympic campaign.
Q. How do you stay fit otherwise?
A. Sharni: I surf, box on the beach and swim.
Shannon: I like to change things up, go to different gyms and try different classes. A change of scenery and activity, I have always found, keeps the mind, body and soul in a good state. I also really enjoy surfing as I find it very peaceful – it’s simply you, your board and the ocean.
Q. Talk us through your diets…
A. Sharni: I love salads so plenty of them during summer, and pretty much your basic veggies and meat.
Shannon: During the season there is always a high emphasis on fuelling the body to enable you to train at your optimum. That’s eating plenty of greens, protein and being mindful of when to and when not to eat carbohydrates. Out of season would be similar however, I’m mindful of portions. Plenty of greens with smaller amount of protein, and minimal to no carbohydrates.
Q. What’s your health mantra?
A. Sharni: What you put in your body is what you get out of it. You only have one home so look after it.
Shannon: Strive for progress not perfection. Your body can stand almost everything – it’s your mind you have to convince.
Watch the Olympic Champions in action at Allianz Stadium in Sydney from 3-4 February. Tickets start from $5.10 for children and $20.40 for adults on Friday 3 February. Purchase tickets here.
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