Beijing: Former Test cricket great Steve Waugh is working with the Australian athletes at the Beijing Olympics offering advice and acting as a sounding board.
The former Australian cricket captain is here in a mentoring capacity and his experience dealing with the pressures of elite sport is helping to prepare Australia's large team of athletes ahead of the start of Olympics competition on Saturday.
Waugh, 43, was lending some practical advice and encouragement to Australia's female beach volleyballers at the Chaoyang Park beach volleyball venue Thursday and revelling in the atmosphere of an Olympic Games.
"It's sensational, it's a real privilege to be here," Waugh said. "To get up close and personal with so many sports and training venues and to see what they have put into their sports, I feel really honoured to be here."
Waugh, who is one of three athlete liaison staff working with the Australian athletes, believes he can offer the athletes some inside knowledge when it comes to dealing with pressures on the international stage.
"I've met most of the teams over the last six to nine months, and I just try and build up a relationship and if any of the athletes need some words from any of us, then I guess our role is to pass on our own experiences in sport," he said.
"A lot of the same issues pop up no matter what sports you play, dealing with pressure, expectations, getting through injuries and just other little things."
Athlete liaisons for other Australian sports in Beijing include former Wallabies rugby captain John Eales and swimming champion Susie O'Neill.