Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket Sports: Olympic medalist comes to Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Phuket Sports: Olympic medalist comes to Phuket | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET: Two-time Olympic medalist David Davies spoke to the Phuket Gazette about his upcoming trip to Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club to teach a Swimming Stroke Clinic tomorrow.

Phuket Gazette: What brings you to Phuket and will this be your first time in Thailand?

David Davies: It will be my first time in Thailand. Following my third consecutive Olympics, I thought I’d like to see a bit of the world [and] see if I could give something back to the sport. I’ve done several swim clinics before and I really enjoy it.

Luckily enough, I have the contacts in Thailand, so I saw it as an opportunity for a working holiday. I’m really looking forward to the trip.

Is there anything you are most looking forward to about your trip to Phuket?

I’d like to see some of the beaches, as everybody always talks about how nice they are (hopefully the weather is good while I am there) and also experience the general culture of Thailand. It’s obviously very different to the UK, but it is very popular with the Brits who move there or go on holiday. I’m going in very open–minded and really looking forward to it.

Whenever I go away, I always get involved with the local cuisine, so I’ll definitely be going for all of the local foods.

You’ve been to an incredible three Olympic games, medaling in 2004 and 2008, and racing very well this year in London 2012. Which was your most memorable and why?

That’s a very tricky question as they are all special in so many ways. The first one was in Athens, where the Olympics originated from, and I never expected to get a medal, so the massive hysteria and shock from winning a medal was amazing.

Beijing 2008 was probably my most courageous performance; with the last part of the 10km open water swim being incredibly painful, but I managed to hang in there for an Olympic Silver medal in my second consecutive Olympic games. I was very proud to have maintained such a high level of performance over two consecutive games, and so that for me, was a huge achievement.

This year’s event in London was such a historical event in my home nation, that had been talked about every day for years and years, and then to finally be there racing with the home crowd cheering on was a magnificent feeling. The whole nation got behind us and it was a really nice way to finish my Olympic career really.

Walking through the Olympic Park every day with so much support was just an incredible feeling.

What would you single out as your best achievement or what do you feel you will always take with you long after you quit swimming?

As an athlete, it was always about the Olympic Games for me. That’s what inspired me to get into the sport and that’s why I competed and that’s what I wanted to succeed in.

I think doing it twice [winning medals in 2004 and 2008] and having the commitment, desire and motivation to continue for another four years after Athens… maintain that level of performance and win another medal, was something very unique and special to me.

The race in Beijing was actually only my 3rd open water race, so I was very inexperienced and it was a new sport to me. I probably won that medal through courage and determination on the day. I had absolutely nothing left. I wanted absolutely no regrets and as an athlete, that’s all you can do.

I’m not a massively talented athlete, I’m just a very hard working honest guy and that was the result of my work ethic really.

How did you keep your motivation to train at such a high level over three Olympic Games?

When I look back now, I think that it is a long time to keep that motivation.

However, there are no short cuts to get to the top, and the Olympics was always my focus.

I always remember a coach of mine saying that when I’m struggling to get out of bed, one of my competitors on the other side of the world won’t be and that they will be getting an edge on their training.

I’ve always believed in doing it the hard way and with 100 per cent effort and commitment.

What advice would you give swimmers starting out on their own ‘Olympic Journey’?

I would say that you should never give up on your dreams.

I remember a huge idol of mine, Grant Hackett from Australia, was my motivation as a youth swimmer growing up. All I wanted to do was to be like him and emulate his successes in the pool.

Then in 2004 at the Olympic Final, I found myself qualified fastest for the 1,500m Final with Grant in the lane next to me! It was a strange feeling, however, it shows that with hard work and consistency even your most distant dreams can become reality.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thailand

Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

3 cities in Thailand recently joined UNESCO’s membership of so called “learning cities” which are said to promote “lifelong learning” and sustainable development. Chachoengsao, Chiang Mai and Phuket joined the UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities. Altogether, 55 cities from 27 countries, adding up to 230 cities in 64 countries around the world, according to UNESCO.

“These cities are outstanding examples of how lifelong learning can become a reality at local level. They have proven that effective lifelong learning policies and practices can support the development of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and contribute to the 2030 Agenda.”

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning David Atchoarena says the recent new members have shown that they can make “lifelong learning a reality,” even after enduring the pandemic.

“With unprecedented urgency, the Covid-19-19 pandemic has underlined the necessity to build more resilient education systems for the future. With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities must be at the centre of this undertaking.”

David says he hopes it will inspire other cities in Thailand to follow.

“I very much hope that we will see many other cities from Thailand joining the network and working on providing lifelong learning opportunities for all to ensure a sustainable and peaceful future.”

The mayor of Chachoengsao, Kolayuth Chaisang, says his goal is to provide “effective education, thoroughly and equally to all citizens.” According to the Bangkok Post, the city is a key urban centre both economically and culturally.

The mayor of Chiang Mai, Tussanai Buranupakorn, says he wants to revitalise the city, while also maintaining the cultural significance. The city has a number of educational institutes, which goes along with UNESCO’s learning city principles.

Phuket is a hub of sustainable creativity, according to the Bangkok Post. The mayor of Phuket, Somjai Suwansupana, says he wants to preserve the city’s “identity, local wisdom assets and the charm of our multiculturalism.”

SOURCES: UNESCO |Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Phuket

Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

A newborn baby was found on a bench at a neighborhood by Phuket’s Patong Road. The baby boy was wrapped in cloth and left inside a reusable shopping bag. The bag also had a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing.

A woman walking by early in the morning heard the baby crying. She followed the cries and found the baby on the bench. She called police and calmed the baby, feeding him milk that was left in the bag.

Police took the baby to the Patong Hospital. The baby, about a week old, is in good health, police say.

“Police and rescue workers together rushed to the scene and called Patong Hospital to have a medical team meet us there … This baby is healthy and does not appear to have suffered any injuries. He is now safe and being cared for at Patong Hospital.”

Police are reviewing surveillance camera footage to see if they can track down the mother, or whoever left the baby behind.

Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Visa

Phuket Immigration handing out ‘conditional’ 14 day visas, pending investigations

The Thaiger

Published

on

Phuket Immigration handing out ‘conditional’ 14 day visas, pending investigations | The Thaiger

Confusion reigns. It was predictable and many people, despite months of warnings, have left their visa extensions to the last minute. Meanwhile Thai immigration don’t appear to be making the process easy as The Thaiger has received multiple comments from foreigners visiting the various immigration offices around the country and encountering ‘local’ applications of the published guidelines and, in some cases, demands for additional paperwork.

A note to The Thaiger, we won’t publish the person’s name, from Phuket where a person applying for an extension to their visa has been given something less than the 30 days promised by the government.

“On Monday Phuket Immigration was only giving 14 day ‘conditional’ VISA extensions from the date of application, not from September 26. They announced this was to allow time to “investigate and verify” the need for the extension.

So basically we paid 1900 baht for a 14 day extension. After announcing this many people left as many que numbers were called and nobody came up. They said if that were the case they would come back later in the week.

So we have to go back on October 5 (or a few days later is ok they announced) to see if we’re approved for the 30 day extension from September 26. If not we would be immediately “overstaying” at 500 baht/day.

Thank you
C

Another writer, speaking about the same matter, said that they were still being charged the non-refundable 1900 baht fee for the 2 week extension….

“They still collected the non refundable 1900 baht fee.”

Yesterday a person, who had been living in Bangkok under the auspices of the visa amnesty on a lapsed Non Immigrant B (Business) visa, ended up visiting three different offices to get his paperwork sorted out. This is after first contacting immigration by phone to confirm the particular office to attend. He had a letter from the US Embassy explaining that he would be unable to return to the US at this stage due to lack of flights and the current Covid-19 situation in the US. He made an appointment online, as instructed, and it still didn’t go very smoothly.

The instructions he received….

If your Visa was cancelled during the Covid-19 crisis, and you are currently under the amnesty grace period set to expire September 26, you will need to schedule an appointment online to queue in with the Immigration Division 1 at Muang Thong Thani (near Don Mueang Airport). You will need…
  • Online appointment with Immigration Division 1
  • Passport
  • TM 6 Departure Card
  • 1,900 Baht fee for short term extension
  • Letter from embassy specifically stating inability to leave Thailand due to lack of repatriation flights and or a high risk of contracting Covid-19 in one’s home nation.
  • US Embassy letter request can be made online here
  • Portrait photo to affix to short term extension application 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm in dimension

After going to Counter K and Counter J (2 separate buildings), he ended up being asked to go to the Chaeng Wattana office instead, and then was shuffled off to yet another office. Additional paperwork was also requested, beyond what had been asked for. After nearly a full day he ended up with a visa stamp for a 30 day extension in his visa.

He also noted that there is NO ATM around the Mueang Thong Thani immigration offices and our reader had to take a 60 baht motorcycle taxi ride to get cash.

Probably worse, he said that the Immigration officials (clearly overworked at this time), were “extremely rude” and that the facilities (apparently temporary) are “less-than-adequate”, especially the Counter K, which was basically a parking garage with seats… no fans.

Additionally, contrary to the clear advice on the Thai Immigration website, most people getting their extensions were from the date of their visit and NOT the end of the September 26 amnesty.

Phuket Immigration handing out 'conditional' 14 day visas, pending investigations | News by The Thaiger

The moral of this tiny microcosm of stories is that it’s probably the busiest week for Thai immigration in history. The officials will be stressed and stretched, there will be long queues and there will be confusion. We should also mention that we’ve had a few foreigners contact us saying that things went very smoothly for their extensions, so well done to all concerned in those examples!

Be prepared, take ALL your paperwork, expect to asked to produce more evidence, make sure you have all your photos and copies of your passport, TM 6 departure card, plus filled-in applications before you head to the Immigration offices.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending