Hymer qualified in March 2020 but then faced a nervous wait to confirm her position after the tournament was postponed.
In June this year, her fate in the green and gold was sealed when she was announced as one of four Australians in the taekwondo team.
“The moment I found out I’d been successful, I was ecstatic. My family and I were all in the lounge room jumping up and down in excitement,” Hymer said.
“The journey has been crazy. Since winning the 2018 Oceania Championship and realising Tokyo 2020 was a possibility, I have been travelling all around the world for competitions to build up points.
“Representing Australia at the Olympics is something I’ve work so hard for, and I’m honoured that I can own the title of being an Olympian as it’s something I’ll always carry with me.”
Building up to this moment, Hymer has been training five technical sessions a week, with intense conditioning sessions and meticulous recovery sessions, all while completing her degree.
Hymer has been part of RMIT’s Elite Athlete Program (REAP) since 2019, which she said has helped her realise her sporting and academic aspirations.
“If I had any competing deadlines with assessments or exams, the REAP staff would help me explain my unique situation to lecturers,” she said.
“The precarity of whether the Olympics would go ahead was a big mental challenge and there were a lot of ups, downs, and readjustments.
“I had to put my mind into relaxation mode and having University there was a welcome distraction.
“I’m a massive foodie, so It has been great applying what I’m learning into my sport by working out what foods will be good for me before and after competition.
“Whenever I am touring for competitions, I love eating and experiencing all the different cultures. In Tokyo though, it will be pretty plain and simple: chicken, rice and vegetables.”
At RMIT, the 'T' stands for taekwondo
In a cool coincidence, Hymer isn’t the only one from the RMIT community to compete at the Olympics for Taekwondo.
Recent PhD graduate and sessional lecturer Lauren Burns OAM won an Olympic Gold Medal in taekwondo at the 2000 Sydney Olympics – the first and only Australian to win gold in the sport.
Her research looked at the importance of wholistic support networks and interpersonal relationships in contributing to sporting success.