But these things don’t matter that much to the youngster, who has been training in Singapore since last December.
“I just want to do my best. We’ve been working really hard here,” he said. “It’s been awesome. The support team has got so many staff on deck all the time. And it really feels like family, everyone, all the coaches can talk to you about anything.”
“MY DUTY TO GIVE IT EVERYTHING”
Petanque is a “very multi-faceted” sport, added Josephine.
“It is not about throwing hard, throwing faster. There’s a lot of control involved and that is challenging,” she said. “It’s almost like a microcosm of life because of all the challenges you have to go through and you have to overcome.”
While many have the impression that petanque is a sport played mainly by seniors, the 16-year-old begs to differ.
“Even though it is not the most demanding aerobically and old people can play it, it is very challenging and interesting even for younger people,” she explained.
“When I go overseas, I think there’s a lot more younger people who play, that’s something that I wish we could have in Singapore.”
Josephine’s coach Anthony Ho, a former national representative himself, recalled how there used to be athletes in their 50s representing Singapore. Now, with youngsters like Josephine, there is a fresher impetus to the sport.
“It doesn’t mean that younger is better (because) in this sport, you need a lot of composure, experience, even life experiences,” said Ho. “(But), it’s the younger ones who can take the duration of the competition, because the competition is one whole day … The younger ones can take the longer hours better.”
Nicholas is swimming for more than just himself.
“Everything my parents and grandparents have done for me, I just want to make them proud. They gave everything for me to just be able to swim, I don’t have to go work a job all day. So, I feel like it’s my duty to give it everything,” said the youngster, who trained 13 times a week in the lead up to the Games.
“I don’t really have an excuse … I feel like I’m so lucky that I’ve been given the opportunity to be able to do this. So I just have to give it my best.”
And this helps him to focus as he stays disciplined and strives towards his ultimate goal of making the Olympics.
“I don’t feel like I care about anyone else’s expectations because I feel like a lot of people go down that path and there’s too much pressure,” Nicholas said. “I’d say I set pretty high expectations for myself already.”