Rob Forsaith / AAP News
Australia’s most decorated Olympian is resetting after a stellar 2021 campaign, ahead of another record-breaking attempt at the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Australia’s most successful Olympian Emma McKeon is ready to reset for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and for the Paris 2024 Olympics, declaring her record-breaking success in Tokyo will be motivation rather than a millstone.
McKeon collected seven medals at the Tokyo Games, equalling the biggest haul for a female Olympian, while four gold medals and a career tally of 11 Olympic medals represented new Australian benchmarks.
The eight-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist has a chance to become Australia’s most successful Commonwealth Games team member at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
If the swimming superstar repeats her action-packed programs from the Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 Games, McKeon is on track to surpass the Australian record of 10 career gold medals, currently held by Australian swimming legends Susie O’Neill AM, Ian Thorpe AM and Leisel Jones OAM.
But before the Games in July, McKeon is keen to switch off at the beach, relishing the prospect of relaxing with friends and family at summer holiday favourite Lake Conjola after competing in Europe to cap a busy 2021.
The Wollongong wizard, who launched a joint Surf Life Saving Australia and Nutri-Grain initiative designed to reduce drowning deaths on Australia’s beaches, says success has not made her feel any different.
“Which I like,” McKeon told AAP.
But already at the back of the humble 27-year-old’s mind is the prospect of a third Commonwealth Games and a third Olympics, with an expected return to training in February set to double as the moment she marks out specific goals for 2022 and beyond.
“I definitely want to go through to Paris,” McKeon said.
“When I get back in the pool, I will be just as motivated because I definitely still feel like I’m improving a lot and enjoying my swimming a lot.
“Now that I’ve won at the Olympics, I think that’s actually going to give me more motivation. Because I want to do the same thing.
“Three years doesn’t sound like long, especially when you compare it to the last (five-year) preparation, but it is still a long time.”
The softly spoken legend, who was the face of Australia’s triumphant Tokyo Games after swimming on every day of the meet, is yet to map out a path to Paris.
But next year will inevitably be “very busy”, with Japan to host the world championships in May before focus shifts to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
“That’s why I just want to kind of zone out and enjoy myself now. Because I know it’s going to be intense again,” McKeon said.
McKeon’s victories in the 50m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay were the highlights of ‘Super Sunday’ in Tokyo, when four gold medals made it the nation’s most successful day in Olympic history.
Australia’s swimmers claimed nine gold medals at Tokyo, another record that McKeon helped break.
“As a team we’re very close,” McKeon said.
“When you’re around people that you feel comfortable with and they do feel like your family, then you’re going to perform well.”
Earlier this month, Commonwealth Games Australia announced that Speedo Australia will once again support our world-beating Aussie swimmers and divers at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Continuing a partnership between Commonwealth Games Australia and the iconic swimwear brand that began at the Cardiff 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
For over 80 years Speedo has been the choice of swimwear for Australia’s best swimmers and divers and it will be again as they go for gold next July.
Graham Eyres, Brand Manager – Speedo Pacific said “Our top Aussie athletes wore Speedo to bring back a golden haul last year and we really excited to see the Commonwealth Games team do the same again this year”.
The agreement will see Speedo supply training and competition wear to the Australian swimming and diving teams at the Birmingham Games.
“Athletes like Emma McKeon will wear exactly the same quality of swimmers and race suits that every day Aussies have available to them, with just the all-important Australian Commonwealth Games team crest added to the unique green and gold suits designed for the Team, which we will reveal in the weeks ahead. We’re sure that the 2022 team will be bold and brilliant in Birmingham”.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 28 July to 8 August 2022.
To celebrate this historic partnership, we have a greater together Speedo special! Use code GAMES22 and get 22% off on www.speedo.com.au! *Offer valid until 31/01/2022.