Sophie dives into Beijing

TWEED'S Olympic gold medal hope, swimmer Sophie Edington, has touched down in Beijing with the rest of her "rock star" Australian swimming teammates.

Edington and fellow Kingscliff swimmer Lara Davenport, along with their coach Greg Salter, make up the Tweed contingent at the Beijing Olympic Games.

They had spent the past eight days acclimatising and completing final training in Kuala Lumpur, before landing in China's capital on Sunday.

According to assistant coach Lea Speechley, who is still on the Tweed, Edington and Davenport are excitedly soaking up the Olympic experience.

Ms Speechley said both were showered with uniforms and clothes when they arrived.

"Lara said she had more clothes in her bag than in her wardrobe at home," Ms Speechley said.

"They're like kids in a candy store; they can't believe the size of the (Olympic) village."

Ms Speechley said both were enjoying being able to mingle with athletes from a diverse range of sports.

Edington's parents, Bruce and Annabel, are both in Beijing to cheer on their daughter, but some of her other biggest fans will be cheering her on from Kingscliff.

According to Ms Speechley, the young Kingscliff Swim Centre swimming team were planning to take the afternoon off from school should either of their swim idols make the finals of their events.

She said Edington and Davenport, along with Mr Salter were inspirations for locals.

"It's fantastic to have them around the Kingscliff pool, I hope (the kids) know how lucky they are ... we've had 20 years of leadership at the club," Ms Speechley said.

She said the club's motto, "Success breeds success", had turned out to be true.

"We are all really proud of them and excited and wishing them well," Ms Speechley said.

Edington will compete in the 100m backstroke, for which she is Australia's current and all-time second-fastest swimmer, behind Emily Seebohm.

The 50m backstroke, in which Edington is the current world%record holder, is not an Olympic event.

Davenport has been picked for the 4x100m freestyle relay and the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Mr Salter is an Olympic legend in his own right, but he specialises in holding the clipboard, not swimming laps in the pool.

Both Edington and Davenport came to Kingscliff to train under the coaching guru, who has looked after Olympic swimmers since 1992.



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