Caine Eckstein

Ironman, Age 26
Dancing For: The John Maclean Foundation

Partner: Jessica Prince

"I don't think anyone's really got too much of an advantage, it's just how you train and how hard you go up to it because we're all starting from scratch."

Caine Eckstein rises before dawn each day for his first bout of exercise. Twice more during the day he'll hit the water or gym, often completing five hours of weights and cardio every day. For this professional competitor, it's all about being the best. At just 26, Caine is the best endurance ironman Australia has ever seen. The Coolangatta Gold Champion took his wins to a new record this year by becoming the only person in history to win the iconic event five times.

Firmly committed and dedicated to his sport, as a teenager Caine often avoided partying with friends, instead focusing on training. “When I dedicated myself to train I wouldn't go out for three or four months before big races."

It's a winning formula he hopes will move from the beach to the dance floor. “I've got a good work ethic and I try really hard, and I like to achieve my goals, and this is the same sort of thing."

He says he had no reservations when being asked to compete for the coveted mirror ball trophy. “It's a challenge, and you only live once - it'll be a bit of a rush."

Hoping to work on his posture and not aggravate a recently injured hip, Caine says he's mentally prepared for the competition. “I don't think my physique's going to be too helpful, I'm very top heavy and for something like the Viennese Waltz it's not the best thing. It's physically hard but mentally there's a lot you're trying to absorb and you really have to think about it, so I suppose it's whoever puts in the hard work."

Caine says he hopes to stay composed in the face of criticism from the judges. “They're professionals and I don't know anything about dancing, but I am sort of known as the more fiery sort of person. But if they're bagging me then I probably deserve to be bagged."

Dancing for the John Maclean Foundation which raises money to support paraplegic children, Caine says he just wants to be moving forward. “I'm pretty competitive and I don't want to get to a point where I'm not competitive because then I'm probably not going too well."

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