Silhouetted against the pale light of a winter dawn at MORDIALLOC beach in Melbourne -- a modern Spartan.
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Background: Silhouetted against the pale light of a winter dawn at MORDIALLOC beach in Melbourne -- a modern Spartan. And like the Spartans of old, GEORGE COOTE, one of Victoria's leading Modern Pentathlon athletes, has the Olympic Games in his sights. At six o'clock on most mornings throughout the year, he exercises with a team of horses to keep fit.
For the past three years, he's been swimming and riding before breakfast with his twenty or so equine charges. He says rowing while the horse swims along behind on a together strengthens his arms and shoulders.
Five minutes in the boat, and then it's time for a training gallop. George Coote is an accomplished athlete when it comes to the pentathlon sports of running, swimming, shooting and fencing, but he feels his riding isn't up to top class yet. He finds his early morning job an ideal opportunity to brush up. He represented Australia at the nineteen fifty-six Olympic Games and hopes to wear the green and told of Australia again at ROME next year.
Judging by his technique, his rugged training methods seem to be paying off. But being a perfectionist, he's still not satisfied.
Now George Coote hands the horses over to a trainer for a rub down and prepares for a quick plunge in the sea, where he's more at home.
The sun's up but a chill breeze is ruffling the water, so George goes under quickly. This is the style that won him titles in Interstate swimming and surfing a few years ago.
After on invigorating early morning swim, George coote has completed another day's training. Breakfast is next, and then it's off to work for Melbourne's twentieth-century SPARTAN.