"I was one of the first disabled athletes to get a QAS scholarship. Then one of the first, QAS was the first institute or Academy to integrate disabled athletes into the able-bodied program and that meant a lot to me especially having Peter Day as the QAS Head Cycling Coach and to be able to get coached by him and train with the able body QAS athletes was fantastic."
Commentary: "Finally it will be gold for Duncan Free and three Olympics, 3 gold medals for Drew Ginn"
Duncan - "Support comes from a lot of angles I guess in terms of financially for travel and equipment and then you know in terms of education and training there; you know public speaking, even cooking classes.
They've got it all covered, so it's quite a broad program and I think that just creates a whole, I guess, balance in your life to make sure that all the areas of your life are covered."
"I came here as a fourteen/fifteen year old young sort of athlete that didn't know anything about nutrition, didn't know anything about sport psychology or even had been into a gym. Then coming here I've just been able to learn the things that I need to know that are going to make me the best athlete.
Things like nutrition and recovery and being able to work with such professionals like the sport scientists and you know the strength and conditioning guys, has improved me immensely and I think its definitely had I been anywhere else in this country I wouldn't be the player I am today."
"We had great training, we had great coaches, great physios, great strength and conditioning coaches we had dieticians, they just provided everything to get us to be the best athlete possible and I couldn't have that without the QAS's support, it's simple.
I couldn't say enough about the QAS because without them I would never have achieved what I did achieve in water polo."
Susie: "Yeah well I was one of the first people to make the Queensland Academy of Sport, back in the early nineties; I think it was very good for me to round the whole me.
So I think my sport was covered with my coach but what the Queensland Academy of Sport did for me early on was the extras. I did a lot of classes - deportment, speaking and media classes - so that was very helpful. I think also the networking and going to functions, learning how to speak to people at functions helped as well.
Interviewer: Did it add to the polish of Susie O'Neill?
Susie: I think it added to me as a person definitely. To be honest I probably didn't appreciate it as much as I do now. You know at the time I think I was fifteen or sixteen when I first joined the Queensland Academy of Sport so you think its normal to have so much support around you and help, it's only now as a 35 year old mother looking back that I think wow I had it so good back then.
So I suppose if I could say anything to the athletes now its to just really appreciate what you've got and utilise it as much as you can."
"For me personally and for our softball fraternity here in Queensland and also at the Australian level, we wouldn't be where we are today and we wouldn't have the results that we have today if it wasn't for the support of the QAS and the Queensland Government."
Tim Conrad and Sam Conrad
Tim: "I think one of the key things for our academy squad here is a change in their attitude to how we're performing, the culture that's developing within the QAS of you know, we can do it here in Queensland, we're as good if not better than the other states and we're going to prove that."
Sam: "I think we've got the bragging rights over the other Academies at this stage. Definitely with our Olympic results, the QAS seems to be like its pretty much the top institute or academy in the country."
"We provide services not only to help the athletes to reach their best performances in their sport, but also so that once their sporting career is over they have other skills that will enable them to continue and be productive citizens and I think it's important for athletes to have a good balance in their lives and we recognise that at the QAS.
I guess I would say to any athlete or sport that is new to the Queensland Academy of Sport you are part of a fantastic tradition, continue to uphold that tradition, set your standards high, do the best you can and have fun along the way."
"I always look back to that 1500m final in Barcelona and I can remember just sitting at home quietly watching it and thinking this is a big test for us because we'd only be going for a couple of years and Australia was no longer dominating the 1500 and I just thought wow, look what you can do if you actually get yourselves organised and you give quality training the background that it needs in science and you put it all together - what else can we do.
And of course particularly in the swimming world the QAS is doing some wonderful things. But that that was the day that I thought - this is going to work - and it wasn't only me, the rest of the staff thought it, you know I mean Kieren won the gold, but we all thought we had too.
The fact that there was nothing and now there's this number one academy in the country that has an international reputation, I just think its terrific.