BOUND FOR THE GAMES: Sunshine Coast product Tia-Clair Toomey.
BOUND FOR THE GAMES: Sunshine Coast product Tia-Clair Toomey. Nick Kossatch GLA100616TIAGALLER

Rio-bound Toomey had time to give pop the good news

WEIGHTLIFTING: Tia-Clare Toomey will head to the Rio Olympics content that she had time to tell her beloved grandfather she'd earned selection.

The 22-year-old, who grew up on a cane farm on the Maroochy River, was officially welcomed into the Australian team on Thursday, the same day as her pop John's funeral.

But she knew she was going to be nominated a week ago and was able to tell him the good news just days before he died, aged 90.

"He was really happy, knowing that I made the Australian team for the Rio Olympics. He was proud to hear that before he left us," she said.

"He was a very large influence on my determination on making it and on following through with a dream."

It's been a roller-coaster few months for Toomey, who is now based at Gladstone but still calls the Sunshine Coast home.

She recently got engaged to Shane Orr, who introduced her to the sport of crossfit.

In fact, Toomey has made a name of herself in crossfit circles. The former middle distance runner compiled a host of results which saw her dubbed the second fittest woman in the world last year and she also owns a gym.

She took up weightlifting in earnest less than three years ago and quickly rose through the ranks to become Australia's sole women's representative at Rio, after impressive efforts at crucial events in Brisbane and Fiji.

"It's all happened very fast compared but I guess that's down to determination and how bad you want it. It just kind of falls into place if you really want it that bad...and I did."

She'll compete in the 58kg section at Brazil in August but only after the next edition of the Crossfit Games in the United States next month.

She expects the Europeans to be hard to beat at the Olympics and said a top-20 result would be satisfying.

Toomey was born at Nambour and went to school at North Arm but the sugar mill's closure led to her moving to Weipa with her parents as a teenager. She boarded at Townsville, went to university in Brisbane and moved to Gladstone but most of her extended family resides on the Coast.



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