Exclusive: Candice Warner’s Olympic moment has arrived, with the former champion Ironwoman joining Network Seven’s studio commentary team for the Tokyo Games.
“Sport is my first love and will always be a huge passion of mine,” Warner said.
“To be able to commentate the men and women’s triathlon and open water 10km marathon … I’m really thrilled.”
As a little nipper, Warner grew up wanting to be an Olympian.
“I never got that opportunity with my sport,” she said.
“But to be part of the commentary team alongside some of those voices and (the source) of such great sporting quotes, it’s honestly a dream come true and I really am honoured.”
Warner predicts “great success” for the Australian team in Tokyo in part thanks to the way the country has handled the COVID crisis.
“A lot of our athletes haven’t been in the lockdowns that we’ve seen in America, Europe or England,” she said.
“The athletes have been able to prepare, to get to the pool, do their cycling and running, so I really feel that these Olympics, Australia will excel.”
Warner came to prominence at 14 as Australia’s youngest ever professional Ironwoman.
“I understand the stroke side of things; it’s very different to a stroke in the pool, whether it be breathing … or different kicking,” she said.
“Also (I know) how important the feeds are. Over a 10 km open water swim, having those feeds, stopping for your gels, bringing on fluids and increasing your caffeine along the way – they’re the things that people want to know.
“‘What are these athletes doing? How can they keep going for so long? What training they’ve done in the lead up … or why do some athletes wear goggles and some don’t?
“Having swum competitively in the pool and in the ocean, I just have a really good understanding of that sport.”
Lewis Martin, head of Seven Network Sport, said Warner knows exactly what it takes to succeed in elite sport.
“Candice has emerged as a highly promising commentator,” Mr Martin said.
“She will bring an insider’s understanding to our coverage of the triathlon and marathon swimming in Tokyo, joining an unrivalled Seven commentary team that includes some of Australia’s greatest Olympic heroes.”
Warner is especially excited about introducing Australia to new athletes and having her three little girls tune in from home.
“For my daughters to watch the Olympic Games and hear their mother call certain events will really be something else,” Warner said. “For them to see, ‘Okay, you have to work for something to be able to get it, you just don’t get handed things’.”
Just don’t expect Warner to turn to cricket commentary post-Olympics.
“The last thing David would want is his wife’s (commentary) on his performance,” she laughed.
“I don’t know how well any marriage would survive that!”
DON’T miss our eight-page 100 days to go until the Tokyo Olympics liftout on Wednesday in News Corp Australia newspapers.