Miley’s Aussie ex takes huge Olympic step
Cody Simpson wants to make an Olympic-sized splash.
The Australian singer-songwriter, who dated pop star Miley Cyrus before breaking up earlier in 2020, has swapped his guitar for Speedos as he sets his sights on next year's Tokyo Games.
Simpson revealed on Instagram he has returned to his "first love" swimming, as he chases medals rather than Grammys.
And the 23-year-old has got some game. He has qualified for the Australian Olympic trials - to take place midway through next year shortly before the Games get underway in July - by swimming the 100m butterfly in 54.9 seconds, comfortably easing past the qualifying benchmark of 56.87.
Simpson's coach Brett Hawke confirmed the effort in the youngster's "first attempt in 10 years".
"We've been training only … in a country club pool for five months during the pandemic," Hawke wrote on Instagram.
"He did his first set of training dives in a real pool two weeks ago. He qualified for the Australian Olympic trials in his first attempt.
"Not bad for a pop star."
Simpson also took to social media to document his achievement - which may come as a surprise to many fans who know him only as a musician.
"I just qualified for my first Olympic trials," he wrote. "I'd love to share this personal milestone and let you in on my current journey as an athlete that I've kept relatively low key until now.
"Growing up competing, and then inevitably having to cut my career short as 13-year-old Australian champion when I was given an opportunity in music that I couldn't refuse!
"I have had the chance to experience so much as a musician from touring in arenas around the world, releasing top 10 albums, playing a leading man on Broadway, publishing a work of poetry, travelling with and speaking at the United Nations on environmental and oceanic matters and much more.
"Now almost exactly 10 years later, here I am once more. For years I had been fuelled by the silent fire in my stomach of returning to my first love, the sport of swimming, with the idea that 2020 would be my year to have a crack at training again.
"After only 5 months back in the water training with my incredible coach @hawkebr, I was able to take out a win and secure a spot at next year's Australian Olympic trials in the 100 fly.
"It is my greatest ambition to expand the limit and perceived notion of what's possible for a man to achieve in a single lifetime, and I'm here to tell you can do absolutely ANYTHING if you are willing to work for it.
"I'm looking forward to seeing where this all takes me on the long road ahead!"
Simpson has a long way to go if his end goal is a gold medal. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Singapore's Joseph Schooling won the 100m butterfly with a time of 50.39 - more than four seconds quicker than Simpson's qualifying effort.
But the Aussie is happy to take small steps during his surprising career twist.
Simpson won gold medals as a teenager at state swimming championships in Queensland before pursuing music, where he has worked alongside massive names in the industry including Justin Bieber and Flo Rida.
He started dating Cyrus in October 2019 after the American split with another Australian, actor Liam Hemsworth, but she confirmed in August the pair's relationship was over.
Originally published as Miley's Aussie ex takes huge Olympic step