Ariarne Titmus kicks up her heels in the surf in Broadbeach. Picture: Alex Coppel

SHE’S got the weight of Aussie swimming on her shoulders but Ariarne Titmus is just like most teenagers — she’s obsessed with pop superstar Justin Bieber.

Scoring three gold and a silver in the pool at the Commonwealth Games, the 17-year-old has her sights set on the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

But she’s also like most her age, loving to hang out with her friends, listen to music and eat chocolate.

“I am obsessed with Justin Bieber, I am just addicted,” Titmus told News Corp.

Ariarne Titmus kicks up her heels in the surf in Broadbeach. Picture: Alex CoppelSource: News Corp Australia

“I had a dream the other day that the Commonwealth Games were in Canada and he presented medals. I have loved him since I was like eight and around the age of 13 I was obsessed.”

Titmus has been one of the breakout stars of the Gold Coast games, winning gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle, as well as the 4x200m freestyle and silver in the 200m freestyle.

She’s also studying Year 12 part-time over three years through St Peters Lutheran College and is due to finish at the end of 2018.

“I was never not going to finish school because I know that swimming is only a small percentage of my life,” Titmus said, sounding far more mature than her years.

“I am going to have to have a whole other career after swimming so I have to finish school and know that I have other opportunities outside of swimming as well.”

Ariarne Titmus powers to victory in the 400m freestyle final. Picture: AAPSource: AAP

She continued: “I want to go to uni next year. I am really interested in biology and how the body works so I will look into something like that. I am not sure exactly what I want to do yet but I am okay with that because I know swimming will still be for another few years.”

Originally from Tasmania, Titmus’s family moved to Brisbane in 2015 to ensure she had the best training on offer. Her father, Steve, is a high-profile broadcaster.

“I don’t find myself any different to other people at school. I am just normal,” she said.

“I have just been able to achieve something that not many other people my age have. “Hopefully I can show you can have success like this as well as still have a normal school life and normal friends. I had to sacrifice a few things, I can’t have quite the social life that most people my age do have. I am fine with that, though, because I get to enjoy all of this and compete for my country.”

And acknowledging the crowd afterwards. Picture: AAPSource: AAP

While Titmus says she is like most teenagers, she concedes she has had to forego many of the usual activities her friends have time to do like going to parties.

“I choose not to go to those things and in return I get to come to the Commonwealth Games and compete for Australia,” she said.

“I know that most people my age would dream of doing that so I am really lucky. That is because I have made those choices to miss out on a few things.”

As for social media and the pressures for young women to look a certain way, Titmus says she doesn’t “buy into that”.

“Growing up as a swimmer, you’ve pretty much got your body on show the whole time so I never really felt pressure to look a certain way.

“I have always been comfortable in my own skin and I think swimming has helped that because we are so exposed. I don’t really feel that pressure.

“I feel like people admire swimmers for what they achieve in the pool and not for what they look like.”


By Malvi