WHEN Mikhaila Flint first signed up to start swimming there was one major problem.

The registration form for the Cannonvale Cannons asked the question 'what do you want to get out of swimming?'.

Below, it had the options of increasing fitness, making friends and improving skills, but young Mikhaila couldn't find the right box to tick.

"She goes 'Daddy, it's not on here," her father Matt Flint recounted.

"I said 'What?' … and she says 'I want to go to the Olympics'."

Ever since, 14-year-old Mikhaila has been on a mission to don the green and gold on the world stage.

Her dream moved closer to becoming reality today with the announcement that she will move to Brisbane to join the St Peters Western Swim Club and train under Olympic swimming coach Dean Boxall.

Mikhaila made the announcement to her fellow Cannonvale Cannons this morning alongside her mother Sharon McNally and coach Mark Erickson.
Mikhaila made the announcement to her fellow Cannonvale Cannons this morning alongside her mother Sharon McNally and coach Mark Erickson.

Mr Boxall was recently named the 2019 Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association Coach of the Year and has trained many Australian swimming greats, including one of Mikhaila's role models, Ariarne Titmus.

The prestigious coach has big plans for the Cannonvale young gun that culminate in a podium finish at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

"I know that she's nervous and she's wanted this for a long time," Mikhaila's father Matt said.

"(I told her) if it doesn't work you can come back. And she said 'I'm not coming back. I'm not coming back until after the Olympics."

That drive and dedication is what Cannonvale Cannons coach Mark Erickson said sets her apart from the crowd.

"She's always swum well," he said.

"She's got a fair bit of natural talent there and she does train quite well.

"She's got a good range of movement and good flexibility, and she has fairly good awareness of where she is when she swims, and she's got a determination when it comes to the crunch, she loves to race."

Mikhaila's mother Sharon McNally, Mikhaila, coach Mark Erickson and Mikhaila's father Matt Flint.
Mikhaila's mother Sharon McNally, Mikhaila, coach Mark Erickson and Mikhaila's father Matt Flint.

However, the humble swimmer said for her, it was about the love of the sport.

"I used to spend all my time in the water when I was younger and I just liked it," Mikhaila said.

"I went through a couple of other sports and I just didn't like them as much and then I got to swimming and fell in love with it.

"Butterfly is my favourite stroke, but I don't know why."

Mikhaila will move to Brisbane next year on a full scholarship to St Peters Lutheran College.

By then, she will be just 15 years old and will spend a month before the start of term adjusting to a new training regimen.

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Mikhaila's mother Sharon McNally said it would be hard to see her daughter go but looked forward to clapping her on poolside, whether that was in Brisbane or Paris.

"It's her dream, it really is a dream come true. I'm very proud," she said.

"She just took to (swimming) like she was a fish out of water and that became her go to.

"She's rung my parents who live in France and asked to book a bed in their house (for the Olympics)".

And while Mikhaila will soon trade in her signature red and blue Cannons kit for the red and black of St Peters Western, her parents said the Cannonvale pool would always be home.

"The entire club, all of the committee have been amazing. This is her second home and it's just been like family, it's amazing," Ms McNally said.


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