• Blair Evans at the 2016 Australian Swimming Championships April 7, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
After a horror last Olympic Games cycle, Blair Evans hopes to remain injury and illness free going into Rio.
By
Zela

Source:
AAP
20 Apr 2016 - 10:24 AM  UPDATED 20 Apr 2016 - 10:25 AM

Once burdened by serious neck and shoulder injuries since crashing out in the heats at the 2012 Olympic Games, Evans surprised all with her win in the 400m individual medley at the 2016 Australian Championships earlier this month. 

Evans wondered then if she'd ever make it back to swimming. Now, on her current form, she should easily top her London performance. 

"I didn't want to retire," Evans said. "I had so much unfinished business from 2012. I didn't get the results I wanted. There was never a point where I said 'this will be it'. 

"There were definitely times where I said, 'I don't know if I could do this'.

"I had a few setbacks, and got dropped out of funding. So it was very hard financially for me and my family to keep me going at such a level.

"But I'm grateful for Dean Peters (who works as a business strategist with AFL club West Coast Eagles). He came on board and he sat me down and said, 'Look, I'm behind you. Let's do it'. And got me some financial support, which helped over the past six to eight months."

It isn't the first time Evans has overcome serious injury. She was told at 11-years-old she would never run or swim again. 

This news followed surgery for osteomyelitis - a serious infection in her hip ball and socket joint. Her troublesome hip was initially thought to be cancer until biopsies revealed otherwise.

Within a few years, Evans was back to her best and at 21, competing at her first Olympics in London in 2012.  

Now, her coach and family have helped her become a bit more unbreakable.

"When I transferred to Bud (my coach) I sat down and said, 'I'm basically a broken swimmer, what can you do with me? "He said, 'I've got you, we can do this'.

"To this day, I owe my (family and physio) everything for keeping me sane and in the water," she said.

 

"I chucked a lot of tantrums, and had a lot of sooks in that time. But they kept me on track."

Evans has less than four months until Rio, and, to remain unbreakable.