Rayna Buckle had given up any hope of competing at the Tokyo Olympics. Then her world turned upside down — in and out of the pool.
The 20-year-old from Sydney’s northern beaches is a late call-up to the artistic swimming team competing in Tokyo following the retirement of selected team member Hannah Cross due to ongoing concussion issues.
Her elevation from reserve to team member is the chance of a lifetime for Buckle, one of the youngest in a team on a mission in Tokyo to win over new fans to their often maligned sport while lifting their world ranking.
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“It was very unexpected,” said Buckle, raised in Singapore but who moved to Sydney to study physiotherapy in 2020 and is now living with her aunt in Balgowlah.