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Athletes

Cate
Campbell
AustraliaAustralia, AUS
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
20 May 1992
Height
186 cm
Residence
Sydney, NSW, AUS
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Communications, Media Studies - Queensland University of Technology: Brisbane, QLD, AUS

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
Her mother, a former artistic swimmer, taught her to swim as a baby in Africa. After she moved to Australia, she joined a local swimming club in Brisbane, Queensland. At age 15, she decided to take the sport more seriously with the aim of making the Olympic Games.
Why this sport?
"My little recipe for success is to find something that you’re good at and you enjoy, and I guess that I just kind of fell into swimming in that way – I enjoyed it and I was pretty good at it. The more I did it, the more I enjoyed it, and the better I got, therefore the more I enjoyed it – and it just went in that cycle."
Club / Team
Knox Pymble Swim Club: Sydney, NSW, AUS
Name of coach
Simon Cusack [club]; Rohan Taylor [national]

General Interest

Nicknames
C1 (swimswam.com, 04 Dec 2018)
Hobbies
Kayaking. (news.com.au, 15 Apr 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Breaking the 100m freestyle world record. (gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Most influential person in career
Coach Simon Cusack. (gc2018.com, 01 Apr 2018)
Hero / Idol
Australian swimmers Susie O'Neill and Grant Hackett. (swimkids.com.au, 10 Apr 2012; NOC 14 May 2008)
Injuries
She developed a hernia in June 2016 and competed with the injury at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (swimswam.com, 06 Sep 2016)

She underwent shoulder surgery in September 2014. (swimswam.com, 13 Sep 2014)

She was forced out of the 100m freestyle event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London due to gastroenteritis. However, she recovered in time to compete in the 50m freestyle event. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 01 May 2013)

She had glandular fever and then chronic fatigue syndrome after the 2008 Olympic Games and was out of action for two years. (smh.com.au, 10 Apr 2012)

She tore cartilage in her right hip joint playing handball in 2004 and two years later it required surgery that restricted her in training. (NOC, 14 May 2008)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Live your fears, realise your dreams, attain your goals." (olympics.com.au, 10 Apr 2012)
Awards and honours
She was named Sportswoman of the Year at the 2018 Australia Woman in Sports Awards. She also won the Comeback of the Year Award after having a break from the sport after the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (swimswam.com, 17 Oct 2018; swimmingworldmagazine.com, 17 Oct 2018)

In 2016 she received a Patron Award at the Swimming Australia gala awards night. (ginarinehart.com.au, 06 Nov 2016)

She was inducted into the Australian Path of Champions in 2014. The Path of Champions recognises the achievements of Australia's top athletes. (swimswam.com, 21 Oct 2014)

She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] in the 2014 Australia Day Honours list. Her fellow 4x100m gold medallists from the 2012 Olympic Games in London also received the honour. (insidethegames.biz, 26 Jan 2014)

In 2013 and 2014 she was named both Australian Swimmer of the Year and won the Australian Swimmer's Swimmer Award. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 02 Feb 2014; swimswam.com, 22 Dec 2014)
Famous relatives
Her sister Bronte Campbell has represented Australia in swimming and won one silver and two gold medals at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. (smh.com.au, 10 Apr 2018; SportsDeskOnline 21 Feb 2020)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 04 Nov 2019)
Other information
POTENTIAL PUSH FOR PARIS
The postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo made her think of potentially targeting the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris as well. "I always said I wouldn't discount another Olympics but I was thinking Tokyo would be my last because four years is a long time between drinks. Now it will be only three years [until Paris]. Do you keep going and try and push for [2024]? I am not sure. I think it really depends mentally and physically if I feel I am capable of going around again." (smh.com.au, 04 Apr 2020)

MELANOMA REMOVAL
In November 2018 she had a mole on her arm removed after a routine skin check showed that it had developed into stage one melanoma [skin cancer]. "No need to panic, it was safely removed, but it developed in a mole that I'd had my whole life." She went on to advocate the importance of getting skin checks and announced her return to action. "I'll be back in the pool and will have a sweet scar to make me look more bad ass." In February 2019 she became an ambassador for the Melanoma Institute Australia [MIA]. (swimswam.com, 22 Feb 2019; 25 Nov 2018)

PASSION REDISCOVERED
She took a break from swimming following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where she failed to win a medal in the 50m and 100m freestyle. "It hurt me deeply in the way that if you are in a relationship with someone. Swimming let me down. It's strange, because it was 100% me [at fault] and I was in control, but I felt like I had given so much of myself to this thing and it had just really let me down and I was feeling really hurt by it." In September 2017 she returned to full-time training having rediscovered her passion for the sport. "For a while there, I didn't want to be number one in the world. And that was the first time in my career or life that I didn't really care about being at the top. It was an uncomfortable situation to find myself in because I was trying to work out what that meant. In the end, it was just a priority shift, not a complete 180 [degree change]. I saw that life does exist after sport. But I've come back to the fact that I still want to be better. I don't want to give it away and I'm willing to do what it takes to get back to my best." (smh.com.au, 23 Oct 2017; swimswam.com, 23 Jul 2017; sbs.com.au, 24 Jul 2017)

FROM MALAWI TO AUSTRALIA
Born in Malawi where her father, Eric, originally from South Africa, was working for a bank, she moved with her family to Australia at age nine. (smh.com.au, 08 Apr 2012)