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AustraliaAustralia, AUS


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
20 May 1992
186 cm
74 kg
Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Higher education
Communications - Queensland University of Technology: Brisbane, QLD, AUS

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
Her mother, a former synchronised 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
Commercial Swim Club: Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Name of coach
Simon Cusack [club]

International Debut

Competing for
Olympic Games
Beijing, CHN

General Interest

Hero / Idol
Australian swimmers Susie O'Neill and Grant Hackett. (, 10 Apr 2012; NOC 14 May 2008)
She developed a hernia in June 2016 and competed with the injury at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She planned to have surgery on the hernia in October 2016. (, 06 Sep 2016)

She underwent shoulder surgery in September 2014. (, 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. (, 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. (, 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 kicking in training. (NOC, 14 May 2008)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Live your fears, realise your dreams, attain your goals." (, 10 Apr 2012)
Awards and honours
She was named 2014 Female Oceanic Swimmer of the Year in the Swimswam website's Swammy Awards. (, 18 Dec 2014)

She was inducted into the Australian Path of Champions in 2014. The Path of Champions recognises the achievements of Australia’s top athletes. (, 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. (, 26 Jan 2014)

At the 2013 and 2014 Australian Swimmer of the Year Awards she was awarded the Swimmer of the Year and the Swimmer's Swimmer Award in both years. In 2013 she won the People's Choice Award and in 2014 she was named Georgina Hope Foundation Olympic Program Swimmer of the Year. With her 4x100m freestyle teammates she also won the Golden Moment Award for their world record breaking swim at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. (, 02 Feb 2014;, 22 Dec 2014)

She was named Swimming World’s Female Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year in 2013 and 2014 (, 3 Dec 2013; 01 Dec 2014)
To compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (, 18 Jul 2017)
Other information
She took a break from the sport following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She says her experience in Rio de Janeiro was disappointing as 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. Does it mean I want to quit swimming? Does it mean I've lost my competitive edge? What does it mean for the competitive Cate I've always known? 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." (, 23 Oct 2017;, 23 Jul 2017;, 24 Jul 2017)

In 2013 she was selected to be part of the Australian Olympic Committee's Athletes' Commission. (, 26 Nov 2013)

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. (, 08 Apr 2012)

She and her younger sister, Bronte, both qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. They were the first siblings to represent Australia in swimming in the same Olympic team since 1972. The sisters have a brother, Hamish, with cerebral palsy who they say inspires them. (, 23 Mar 2012;, 16 Jul 2012;, 16 Jul 2012)