Kaylee McKeown (swimming) cemented her reputation one of Australia’s best all-time swimmers at her second Commonwealth Games in Birmingham when she completed the 100m and 200m backstroke double – both in Games records – the latter fresh off winning the world title just five weeks earlier. She also won gold medals for lead-off backstroke legs in both the 4x100m medley and 4x100m medley mixed as well as silver in the 200m individual medley.
Kaylee made the swimming world take notice when she smashed the 100m backstroke world record at Olympic selection trials in May 2021 – stopping the clock at 57.45 seconds – before going on to become Olympic champion in the 100m and 200m backstroke in Tokyo. She also won gold as part of the 4x100m medley and bronze in the 4x100m mixed medley.
Kaylee made her international debut at 15, joining older sister Taylor McKeown at the Budapest 2017 world championships where she finished 4th in the 200m backstroke. The following year, she finished 4th both the 100m and 200m at her first Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Kaylee and Taylor suffered a family tragedy when their father Sholto passed away in August 2020 after losing a two-year battle with brain cancer. He had dreamt of seeing his two girls compete at the Olympics. Kaylee has a permanent reminder of him on her foot: a tattoo which says: “I will always be with you” which she sees every time she lifts her foot above the waterline at the backstroke start.
When long-time coach Chris Mooney moved from USC Spartans to Bond University post Olympics in 2021, Kaylee joined Michael Bohl’s Griffith University outfit on the Gold Coast.
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