He’s a freshly anointed prince of the pool but Alex Graham still has a fin or two to learn from ocean royalty.
“I reckon I’d give him a run off the start but anything over five metres, I think he’d have me covered,” the Commonwealth Games gold medallist said during a magical meeting with Coen the dolphin at Sea World.
Graham, 23, was recently named in the Australian Dolphins’ leadership group alongside swimming superstars Cate and Bronte Campbell, Mitch Larkin and fellow young star Jess Hansen.
It was a nod to the Bond University swimmer’s maturity, leadership and potential in and out of the pool.
“I didn’t expect to get the (Dolphins) position -- I was quite chuffed,” Graham said.
“It’s a great opportunity to develop myself as a leader and offer support where I can to the rest of the team.
“The next couple of years is pretty important. I consider myself a bit of a hype man, so if I can help the team get their best performances, that will help me as well.”
Graham claimed gold at his home Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast last year and bronze at the world short-course championships in December.
He’s tipped to become a household name on the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which is fewer than 500 days away.
“The Olympics will come around really quick,” said Graham, who has become adept at juggling studies at Bond and an international swimming career.
“It’s not every day you get to put on the gold cap and represent your country.”