Daniel Rumsey to dive into wedded bliss with partner Jodie Boland

Swimmer Daniel Rumsey has worn countless medals around his neck but one thing became closer to his heart last year.

The retired world champion's love for his fiance Jodie Boland is at the forefront of his mind as they prepare for married life.

The couple's relationship has been a slow burn. The pair have been friends for more than a decade and in a relationship for almost four years.

Their time together culminated in a proposal on their third anniversary before Christmas last year.

Jodie said the couple planned to have a long engagement and spend quality time together as fiances.

"A lot of people want us to get married but we're just holding back because we're just not ready for it," she said.

"They really want to see the wedding photos. We're just quite happy to enjoy the engagement."

The Bundanoon swimmer's mother Sue, father John and brother Andrew are excited to officially welcome Jodie into the family.

Mr Rumsey said his son, who has Down syndrome, has found himself in a rare situation for many with the disability.

"We're very lucky because it doesn't happen to a lot to have this kind of thing," he said.

"I've been involved with Down syndrome swimming and I've seen Down syndrome kids all over the world. There's very few that get to have partnerships.

"When their parents or carers go, they're in group homes. A lot of them, if they've got sisters or brothers, they don't really want to get involved and do a lot, they've got their own lives to lead."

Mr Rumsey said he was no longer worried about what would happen to his son when he and his wife were gone.

"For parents a question is in the back of your minds for a lot for years: 'what happens when we're gone?'" he said

"We count ourselves so lucky these two have found each other. We know they aren't going to be alone and that means a lot.

"It's not a worry on our minds anymore, it's something we know is going to work out really well."

Daniel and Jodie lead busy lives together with work, social outings and sporting commitments.

The two are employed by the Welby Garden Centre, participate in social events with Interchange Australia and perform in the band The Hidden Wonders.

On top of this, the couple carves it up on the dancefloor at ballroom classes, participates in a league bowling competition and cooks meals together.

Italian food is popular cuisine in the Rumsey household, with lasagne and spaghetti bolognese among the chefs' specials. The pair also whip up some mean curries

"They haven't learnt how to pour the wine yet, but we'll get to that," John laughed.

When Daniel retired last year, his father said Jodie was a big part of his son's decision.

"Part of his rationale was for years he has done nothing but swim up and down a black line," he said.

"When they started going out together, he had to miss out on so many social things. It was such a commitment with the swimming.

"He's pretty competitive and he wanted to do it but there came a time when these two decided to get serious and that took precedence over the black line. There's a hell of a lot more to life than swimming."

Daniel previously competed in an international competition for swimmers with Down syndrome for several years.

The swimmer took part in five world championships, where he won many gold medals and was named Top Man of the meet on two occasions. He still swims once a week for fitness.

Now he and Jodie are looking forward to seeing what's in their future.

The two are set to go on a family holiday to Vanuatu and New Zealand this year, and to the Maldives and Sri Lanka next year.

The two couldn't think of anyone better to share those experiences with.

"Danny is fun to hang out with. He's kind, polite and caring," Jodie said.

"She's beautiful to me always, I love her," Daniel said.

This story 'I love her': Daniel Rumsey to dive into wedded bliss with partner Jodie Boland first appeared on Southern Highland News.