Australian beach volleyballer Damien Schumann handled the honour of representing the entire Australian Commonwealth games team, along with netball star Caitlin Thwaites, with class and a performance to be proud of.
Schumann said to be selected out of more than 700 athletes to speak to the media today ahead of the opening ceremony was something very special.
“To be asked to do this, with out of all people Caitlin Thwaites, who used to be a beach volleyballer herself and has been a friend of mine for the last ten or so years, is truly amazing.”
Schumann was asked some tough questions, not related to his sport or these games, but he handled them like a true professional and even hitting a cricket cheating question for six.
The journalist wanted to know if Schumann felt it was up to him and the other Australian athletes to restore Australia’s reputation in the wake of the ball tampering incident and his response was priceless.
“What’s happened in the cricket, it’s pretty disappointing but its only a couple of guys in the wider sporting community who I’m sure if they had their time again they’d put their hand up and not do it again.
I don’t know if we are trying to restore Australia’s sporting reputation to the world . We are all here just trying to do our best!” said Schumann.
Schumann has never been to Olympics and so this is right up there as one of the biggest and best events he will have experienced as a beach volleyball player.
“The highlight will be marching out there tonight in the opening ceremony with all the other athletes in front of a big crowd, it’s going to be very special.”
Life in the athletes village has been another fantastic experience for the likeable Schumann.
“I’ve never been to an olympics or anything but just talking to some of the other athletes they’re saying its better than Rio, Im not sure if Im allowed to say that but it is amazing.” said Schumann.
"Personally I’m loving the 24 hour a day food hall. Ive just got to watch myself that I don’t put on too much weight before I get out there on the court on Friday.”
When it comes to the serious business of winning Australia it's first ever gold medal in beach volleyball with playing partner Chris McHugh, Schumann says they are trying not to get too far ahead of themselves .
“Of course we’ve had a look at our biggest competition Canada, New Zealand and England but to be honest we’ve got some tough pool games first." said Schumann.
“We are expecting and really really hope we will be there in the medal matches against the big guns but we are just focusing on our first match which is Fiji and they’ve been playing really well so we will have our work cut out for us.”
If Schumann can produce the same kind of form on the court that he demonstrated at todays media conference then Australia is certain to take the gold medal.
Australia plays Fiji first up on Friday night at 9.30pm. The Aussie women, Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar, face Cyprus for their opening match at 3pm on Friday.
Beach Volleyball tickets are the most sort after at these Games with all sessions selling out some time ago.
Contact Volleyball Australia to check ticket availability, VolleyBar details and accommodation at the beach.
For those wanting to be right across everything you must download the 7CommGames app.