Gina Galloway, who is due to compete for New Zealand at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires next month, has had a special reunion with her grandmother ahead of the competition in Argentina next month.
Galloway, who is 17, lives in Auckland and will compete in three backstroke events plus the 100m butterfly in October, paid a visit today to her 92-year-old Olympian grandmother Ngaire in Nelson, who also raced in the pool at the 1948 Olympic Games in London.
It means 70 years later, Gina will follow in her footsteps, or rather strokes, when she takes to the pool in South America.
In her day Ngaire was also a backstroke specialist and Gina credits her grandmother with inspiring her to take up the sport.
“Growing up listening to her stories from her experiences and trips in swimming and the friends she's made through the sport all over the world has been really inspiring for me,” Gina said.
“It’s been so special to come here today and see Nana Ngaire.
“My love of swimming came naturally and our shared bond over swimming is great and has motivated me to keep swimming."
Talking of her granddaughter, Ngaire said she was “so proud”.
“She's got more of a killer instinct than me so I'm sure she'll do better than I ever did,” she said.
“She trains hard and is a great young lady.
“She's also a beautiful swimmer and I just love watching her in the water."
Ngaire added that whilst she will not be travelling to Argentina herself, she will watch Gina compete on her iPad.
Ngaire was the only woman in New Zealand’s 1948 Olympic team, finishing 11th in the women’s 100m backstroke.
This year Gina will compete in the same event, plus the 50m and 200m backstroke as well as the 100m butterfly.
The Games in Buenos Aires will run from October 6 to 18.