Ebenezer teenager Josh Ferris has returned from the 2018 Youth Olympic Games with a silver medal.
The 17-year-old travelled to Buenos Aires, Argentina in October to take part in the games, contesting the triathlon.
The Arndell College student qualified for the olympics in March, having placed first in his age group at the Oceania Youth Olympic Games Qualifier in New Zealand.
Josh said: “it was reassuring and nice to know that you are that guy who gets a spot that only comes up once every four years”.
Josh went through an intense year of training, completing around 12 sessions a week, often four of each sport (running, swimming and bike riding), along with a few gym sessions.
Josh trains with his dad, which he says helps him stay focused.
“There’s a good balance, with him knowing when to talk training and tactics, but still being my dad … he’s always there as both,” Said Josh.
Josh competed in two events while in Buenos Aires.
The first was the individual men’s triathlon which involved him completing a 750 meter swim, a 20 kilometer bike ride and a five kilometer run.
He placed 18th and said, “It was far from my best.”
But Josh had to shrug off his performance and backup for the mixed group medley only a couple days later.
He was competing in an Oceania team that was entering the event ranked 16th.
The team featured himself, fellow Australian Charlotte Derbyshire and two New Zealanders, Brea Roderick and Dylan McCullough.
The team were underdogs, coming in against some dominant European teams.
The tag team event required each competitor to complete a 300 meter swim an eight kilometer bike ride and a two kilometer run
Oceania came in second.
“It was so great to do so well,” said Josh.
“It was just so surreal. To get any medal is amazing but winning one with the olympic rings on it is just a whole new feeling.
“It means I really can compete at both a national and world level.”
Josh was in awe of the whole experience. He said that it was “the top of what I’ve done so far.”
“The Olympic Village and each day really put things into perspective as I got to see how far reaching sport is and how it brings so many people together.”
Josh, in year 12, currently mixes homework and training. Eventually he hopes to make a career out of sport.
Josh broke his wrist while competing just 18 months ago. At the time he had the chance to become the national champion.
A return to form, and making the Olympic team gave him confidence heading to Buenos Aires.
Josh said that he decided to give serious competition a crack about three years ago.
He said he was thankful for the opportunity.