Emma McKeon | Australian Olympic Committee
 

Emma's Story

Fast Facts

Sport: Swimming
Events: 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly, 4x100m Freestyle Relay, 4x200m Freestyle Relay, 4x100m Medley Relay, Mixed 4x100 Medley Relay
Olympic History: Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020
Highlights: Australia's most successful Olympian in history, the greatest female swimmer ever at a single Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020)
Club: Griffith University, Gold Coast
Year Born: 1994
State Born: NSW

About Emma

Emma McKeon's feats in Olympic swimming will be marvelled at for decades.

Before the Wollongong native's 28th birthday she'd won more Olympic medals than any Australian Olympian in history, a growing group of 4,300+ individuals dating back to 1896.

Emma's second Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020, best showed her determination and excellence to come away with four gold and three bronze medals at a pandemic-delayed Olympics. It is the single biggest medal haul by a female swimmer at an Olympic Games and is tied for the most medals won by a female athlete in any sport at an Olympic Games.

Her mesmerising performances in Tokyo included one World Record (4x100m freestyle relay) and four Olympic Records (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, the women's 4x100m medley relay and the 4x100m freestyle relay).

The 4x100m freestyle relay World Record was taken down in the final with Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell Meg Harris and Emma posting a time of 3:29.69, beating the previous time also set by Australia at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (which Emma was apart of).

She was also Australia's most successful swimmer at the Rio 2016 Games. In her Olympic debut she took home one gold, two silver and a bronze medal.

Emma first became an Olympic champion on the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay team with  Brittany Elmslie, Cate and Bronte - breaking the World Record in a time of 3:30.65, bettering Australia's previous world-best mark of 3:30.98 set at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

In the 4x200m freestyle relay at Rio she won silver with Bronte Barratt, Leah Neale and Tamsin Cook. Emma's first individual Olympic medal was bronze in the 200m freestyle and she closed out Rio 2016 with silver in the 4x100m medley relay alongside Emily Seebohm, Taylor McKeown and Cate.

Emma comes from a strong family of Aussie swimmers. Her father Ron McKeon swam at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics and won four Commonwealth Games gold medals. Her uncle Rob Woodhouse swam at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, winning bronze in Los Angeles. Her brother David McKeon (London 2012, Rio 2016) is also a dual Olympian and won silver in Rio. Her mother Susie (nee Woodhouse) was a Commonwealth Games swimmer at Brisbane 1982.

Emma's first taste of the Olympics came at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore during 2010, where Emma took home one gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

After narrowly missing selection for the London 2012 Olympic Games she took a hiatus from swimming.

Emma then rediscovered her passion for the sport and made her senior international debut at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, claiming six medals from six races (four gold and two bronze).

At the 2015 World Championships in Russia, Emma won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay, bronze from the 4x100m medley relay and finished seventh in the 200m freestyle.

In 2018 she took her Commonwealth Games medal tally from six to 12. Emma won gold in the 100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle relay (World Record), 4x200m freestyle relay (Commonwealth Games Record) and the 4x100m medley relay (Commonwealth Games Record) - while picking up bronze in the 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly.

In her fourth successive appearance at the World Championships in 2019, Emma won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay and the 4x200m freestyle relay (World Record) - silver in the 4x100m medley relay, mixed 4x100m medley relay and mixed 4x100m freestyle relay - bronze in the 100m butterfly. It became the most fruitful World Championships campaign of her career.

At the 2021 Olympic trials she powered home in both the 100m and 50m freestyle to claim double gold. Earlier that week Emma also won the 100m butterfly and came second in the 200m freestyle.

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