of Australia has one of many heftiest resumes within the historical past of swimming. On the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the Wollongong native grew to become her nation’s most profitable athlete at a single Video games. This 12 months she added the distinction of changing into essentially the most embellished athlete in Commonwealth Video games historical past.
However these accolades nearly didn’t occur, as McKeon just lately advised The Guardian she practically stop swimming altogether after not making the Australian Olympic workforce for the 2012 Video games in London.
Ending seventh within the girls’s 100m freestyle on the Aussie 2012 Olympic Trials, McKeon’s time of 54.35 rendered the long run star simply .10 shy of creating the ladies’s 4x100m freestyle relay workforce. Touring to London to look at her brother, now-retiredcompete, McKeon needed to watch from the stands because the Aussie girls’s relay finally gained the gold medal.
“I used to be actually upset after [missing out on London], after which I truly stopped swimming not lengthy after the trials.
“I knew I wished to go to the Olympics, however I didn’t wish to wait one other 4 years, so I used to be like, ‘I’ll simply cease.”
Deciding to undergo her calling to return to the pool, McKeon earned redemption in spades, taking dwelling 4 golds and two bronze medals on the 2012 Commonwealth Video games. That helped gasoline the Griffith College star’s stellar 2016 Olympic Video games performances, the place she snagged 4 medals, together with gold as a member of the Dolphins’ 400m free relay.
Flash ahead to this 12 months and McKeon reportedly as soon as once more thought-about stepping away from her aquatic area.
Coachadvised reporters in Birmingham that the star had completed her public well being diploma and “needed to decide whether or not she would select that path of labor or whether or not she nonetheless had aggressive ambitions within the pool.”
“She had three months out of the water, we simply didn’t know what she was going to do.”
For McKeon, who’s in a relationship with fellow Aussie Commonwealth Video games swimmer Cody Simpson, the dash ace weighed the influence on her psychological well being when contemplating her choices.
Mentioned Bohl, “It’s onerous when you’ve got such meet, it’s onerous to again up once more. It’s not bodily, it’s psychological. It’s important to be in the precise psychological headspace to entrance up once more. She thought in regards to the professionals and cons and in the long run felt like she nonetheless had some enchancment.”
McKeon as soon as once more discovered herself again within the water, opting out of this 12 months’s World Championships however stealing the highlight big-time on the 2022 Commonwealth Video games. All advised, McKeon raced her technique to a outstanding 8 medals, together with particular person golds within the girls’s 50m free and 50m fly together with a monster haul of 4 relay gold medals.
Talking from a coach’s perspective relating to the subsequent Olympic Video games, Bohl stated “I nonetheless imagine she has somewhat little bit of enchancment as effectively. She’s accepted the problem of occurring to Paris and seeing what she will be able to do on the subsequent Olympics.”