But Simpson was also a former junior swimming star and he revealed he had spent “five months back in the water training with my incredible coach”, former Aussie Olympian Brett Hawke.

Simpson said he was “able to win a place” at next year’s Australian Olympic trials in the 100-metre butterfly, and though he didn’t post his time, Swimming Australia lists the men’s qualifying time for the 100-metre butterfly at 56.87 seconds. The trials are due to be held in South Australia next June, and the rescheduled Olympics in Tokyo from late July.

Simpson described his “journey”, competing during his childhood before having to cut his swimming career short at 13 “when I was given an opportunity in music that I couldn’t refuse”.

“I have had the chance to experience and learn so much as a musician from touring around the world, releasing albums, performing as 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,” he said.

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“For this I will be forever grateful. 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 the year I’d try training again.

“After only five months back in the water with my incredible coach [Brett Hawke], 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!”

Swimming Australia has been approached for comment.



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