Brandon Starc - My journey from the Youth Olympic Games to an Aussie record
27 September 2018
BUENOS AIRES 2018: Kicking off 2018 with a Commonwealth Games gold medal and following up with two more golds over the course of the year, Starc is one of Australia’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG) success stories.
Competing in the inaugural YOG eight years ago, Starc said the Games were a defining moment in his career. Incredibly, it was only one year prior that the teenager began his high jump journey as a student at the Hills Sports Highschool in Sydney’s west.
Starc said that back in 2009 he, “wasn’t too serious about high jump and didn’t even have a coach,” with the then 15-year-old's personal best sitting at 1.88m.
The teenager couldn’t have guessed that just 15 months later, he’d be standing on the Youth Olympic podium after winning a silver medal, with a new personal best of 2.19m.
“The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games really kickstarted everything for me,” Starc said.
“I had no real expectations going into the comp, which is why I think I did so well. I just wanted to embrace the whole experience and make the most of my time in the green and gold.”
The Hills District local said getting a taste of his first Olympic medal was the moment he realised he could take his sport all the way.
“Performing so well in Singapore made me realise that a career in high jump is very possible and achievable,” he said.
“Attending those Games as a 16-year-old inspired me to give my absolute everything to make my dream a reality.”
Fast forward to 2018 and the high jump superstar’s personal best currently sits at an inspiring 2.36 m which he set just last month at the Eberstadt Hochsprung event in Germany, equalling the 21-year-old Australian record in the process.
That massive jump also eclipsed his most recent 2.33 m effort that won him the prestigious 2018 Diamond League Trophy and $69,300 cheque.
The conqueror of aerodynamics says if he could offer one piece of advice to the Australian Youth Olympic athletes it would be to ride the ups and downs and have faith in your own ability.
“Nothing ever comes easily or quickly. You may think you’re capable of a certain time, distance or height and you quite possibly are, but to get to that point you will go through some low points in your career and that’s ok,” he said.
“This is your path and there is no right or wrong, so no matter how hard it may seem or how defeated you might feel, never forget your goals and remind yourself why you made them.”
Australia will be represented by Junior National Champions Oscar Miers and Elizabeth Moss at Buenos Aires 2018.
Seventeen-year-old Miers's PB of 2.14m would have secured him the silver medal at the Nanjing 2014 YOG, while 16-year-old Moss's equally impressive PB of 1.83m would have placed her in fourth place at Nanjing 2014.
You can follow the YOG action on the Live Stream HERE