Injuries no longer a bane on Billy’s Olympic dreams
SUNSHINE Coast Olympic hopeful William "Bill" Bain almost turned his back on the sport, but is back on track after winning $10,000.
The 21-year-old kayaker suffered a horrific surfing injury where he tore all the ligaments joining his ankle to his foot, while recovering from a bulging disc in his back.
Bain is back on track and competing in Adelaide's GP1 as he builds towards next February's Rio 2016 qualifier.
His triumphant return to the sport earned him $10,000 after being named one of AMP's 2015 Tomorrow Makers.
Bain nearly quit during his darker moments.
"It's always an option to throw the towel in, anytime you do something," he said.
"You get to that point where you start to question 'can I come back from this? How long will it take? Will I get back to the same level? And can I get better?'.
"I got the point where I might quit, but instead, I used that time to work on my back."
He went on to make the Australian under-23 world championship team and surprised everyone, including himself, by placing second.
"I honestly didn't expect it," Bain said.
"It was the first time competing by myself and it was the first time in my life that I was scared of competing.
"I pulled a bad lane draw in the final with a cross wind.
"(But) I learnt how to push everything aside.
"I've been known forever to go as hard as I can, but I sat back and waited until the last 400m to go and gave it my all, and nobody challenged me to second."
Bain will miss the rest of the Adelaide GP1 after tweaking his neck in the first race, but he said the money from AMP had been a major boost in his push for Rio 2016.
"What AMP has done and the program as a whole is extraordinary," he said.
"It's helped me with everything from paying rent to food and just not having to stress about the little things.
"I don't have to live off two-minute noodles anymore.
"If I can inspire the younger guys coming through then I've already started to pay AMP back, I can't thank them enough."