Dane Bird-Smith

Dane training in the lead up to London in Europe

Q&A with Dane

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

My biggest accomplishment has definitely been the Rio Olympic games, a Bronze medal at my first games, fastest Australian at a games and a PB to boot is just unreal.

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?

Successful training is smart training, break your barriers when you can but understand you actually only get faster through recovery.

What would be your ultimate achievement?

The ultimate goal always is a gold medal at the Olympics. If you are training for anything less then you have already limited yourself.

How do you set your goals?

In 2012 I missed selection for the London Olympics. In disappointment is where our greatest motivation arises and for me it was no different, I told Dave (coach and father) that I didn’t just want to make the team for Rio I wanted a medal and to be the fastest Australian ever. 4 years, planning macro and micro training cycles around races, that was all we had to make it happen so instead of counting the days we made the days count.

What 1-2 things do you believe differentiates you from your contemporaries who have tailed off in their athletic participation and abilities?

I have an unparalleled competitiveness and an ability to break through pain, an unwillingness to ever give up. I have been on the start line of many races knowing full well I was not the fastest there, but in a race it doesn’t matter who has the times it comes down to who has the heart. 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

In racing – “if you are going to do it, shut up and get it done, if your going to scratch come take a seat, its on you.” This was said to me right before the start of World walking Cup 2016, I was 24


hours into one of the worst influenza infections of my life and I was told on Doctors advice not to race. It was harsh words but it meant that I was the only one who decided my fate, not the virus, not the doc or coach or supporters and I was the only one who had to live with my decision. If I had pulled out nobody would have questioned my integrity or been disappointed because sometimes life happens, but to pull out would have haunted me with the possibility of what if. So my words of wisdom would be, challenge yourself and live beyond regret.

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?

My squad has sayings for every occasion, quotes from the greats, motivational quips but for me I cannot live on inspiration of others. I will always train, race, live and love by my own personal values and staying true to myself is what makes the journey worth it

Where or who do you draw your inspiration from?

My greatest inspiration comes from the world directly around me, athletes may perform incredibly but it takes more than metal to earn respect. I want to see people face adversity with courage, honour and passion. My family and friends believe in me and that is the spark to my fuel, every other bit of inspiration needed to get out of bed and make things happen is held within my ‘why’.

What is the one thing you always do after a good performance ?

After any good competition you have to soak it up, there is always another race around the corner and it easy to get caught in a cycle, but regardless if you know you have more always take the time to acknowledge where you have come from and what you have achieved. I love to chill out with my Fiancée and our puppies, that’s my time.

If you were a cartoon character , who would you be?

I would love to be Batman but I don’t think anybody can realistically be that badass. Probably Goku, he knows how to train hard and take it to new levels, but always keeps it chill until he needs.

Just like his dad (Dave), on his back

What is your favorite food to eat the night before a big competition?

Night before competition is never a fun meal, just straight up carbs and plainess to keep the stomach settled.

What one word describes you?


What is your favorite place to compete?

Anywhere in China, they know how to put on a show and make a race something special.



Thanks Dane for your responses and photos. We hope your preparations and training are going as expected and wish you luck for London in this weekend

Race well, Race fast.


Ninja Warrior of course