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Cate Campbell

Posted November 26 2012 | 0 Comments

cate-campbellBirth Name: Cate Natalie Campbell
Nickname: Bear
Birth Date: May 20, 1992
Birth Place: Blantyre, Malawi
Parents: Eric and Jenny Campbell
Siblings: Bronte, Jessica, Hamish and Abigail
Sport: Swimming – Freestyle

Cate Campbell is an Australian swimmer who won two bronze medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Cate was born on May 20, 1992 in Blantyre, Malawi to parents, Eric and Jenny. Her family moved from Malawi to Australia in 2001 and it was shortly after this Campbell took up competitive swimming. In 2007, she went to the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney and won two gold medals in the 50 m individual freestyle and 4×100 m freestyle relay. She followed this up in 2008 with a victory in the 50 m freestyle at the Japan Open, beating compatriot Libby Trickett and setting new Australian and Commonwealth records with her time of 24.48 seconds. She is coached by Simon Cusack at the Indooropilly swimming club. Cusack has a long swimming pedigree, being the son of Olympic Bronze Medalist Robert Cusack and the great nephew of Qld swimming hall of fame Coach Arthur Cusack. She currently studies at Kenmore State High School in Brisbane, Queensland. Cate is the eldest of five siblings. Her sister Bronte is also a promising swimmer.


Primary: Chapel Hill State School (QLD, Australia)
Secondary: Kenmore State High School (QLD, Australia)
Tertiary: Bachelor of Mass Communications – Queensland University of Technology

Swimming Career

Cate first came to prominence in 2006, when she claimed Gold in both the 50m and 100m Freestyle at the Australian Age Championships as a 13-year-old. But, it was in 2007 at her first international competitions that Cate showed her true potential as a world-class contender. Campbell, at 15 years of age, out swam the best in the world at Japan Open, all after winning two Gold and one Bronze medal at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney. Her sizzling time of 24.48 seconds elevated her to the fourth fastest woman in history and put the world on notice for Beijing.

2008 Beijing Olympics

As a 16-year-old, Cate earned two bronze medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 50m Freestyle Semi-Finals, after recording a time of 24.20 seconds. This placed her in Lane 4 in the Semi-Finals against the World Record holder Lisbeth Trickett. In Semi-Final 2, Campbell placed second in a time of 24.42 seconds, placing her in Lane 5 for the final. In the final, she placed 3rd in a time of 24.17.

2009 World Championship

Despite doing a time trial of 53.40, with her 100m performance of 56.39 from 5 months earlier in March and having hip problems, she was scratched from the women’s 4×100 freestyle. However, she still earned the right to swim the 50m freestyle from her runner-up swim at the world championships trials. In Rome, she finished with a bronze, beating compatriot Libby Trickett and ending just 0.02s off the Commonwealth Record.

2010 Illness

In 2010, Campbell nearly quit swimming after suffering mono and post-viral fatigue syndrome. At the peak of her illness, she needed 12 hours sleep a night and a further sleep in the afternoon just to get through the day. Doctors ordered her to take a complete break from the sport or risk suffering chronic fatigue syndrome. The condition forced her to withdraw from Pan Pacs Championships and Delhi Commonwealth Games. Campbell used the break to go to southern Africa and “return to her roots.” The break also helped her resolve a chronic hip complaint that had plagued her since 2004. Campbell credits her sister Bronte for keeping her in the sport. She returned to competition in 2011 but could only finish seventh in the 50m free at the Australian Championships and could not qualify for the final of the 100m free.

2012 Olympics

Campbell was a member of the Ausralian team that won the gold medal in the 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics. In the Women’s 50 metre freestyle she and her sister Bronte swam in the same heat, finishing third and second, respectively, and qualifying for the semi-final in tenth and ninth place, respectively.

Sister Act

Cate and Bronte Campbell will be the first sisters to represent Australia in swimming at an Olympics since Narelle and Karen Moras at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Cate describes Bronte, who is two years younger, as her best friend. There is no sibling rivalry. “We train together and race together so often we have just had to shut down that side. We’re best of friends, so it doesn’t really matter,” she said.

Outside of the pool, Cate trains every day and spends her spare hours at University studying for a Bachelor of Mass Communication, majoring in Marketing and International Journalism. She also enjoys relaxing with her family.

Career Highlights
• London Olympics 4×100 Freestyle -1st – Gold
• World Championships, Rome 50m Freestyle -3rd – Bronze
• Beijing Olympics 4×100 Freestyle -3rd – Bronze
• Beijing Olympics 50m Freestyle -3rd – Bronze
• Santa-Fe International 50m Freestyle -1st
• Santa-Fe International 100m Freestyle -1st

• Hobbies: Reading, going to the cinema.
• Cate has a sibling, Hamish, who has cerebral palsy.
• Cate got her nickname Bear because she sleeps a lot.
• Favourite Music: Muse
• Loves to watch the diving, gymnastics, athletics and synchronised swimming events in the Olympics.
• Most embarrassing sporting moment is diving in for a 50-m freestyle and her goggles fell off and got caught around her mouth creating “a rubber moustache.
• Cate used to have a pet pig.

• To be down in the dumps with someone and then the highest of heights with someone is a really incredible experience.
• (on her sister, Bronte) We train together and race together so often we have just had to shut down that side. We’re best of friends, so it doesn’t really matter.
• Drink lots during training, just because you’re in water doesn’t mean that you don’t sweat.
• Go to bed early; sleep is society’s most under-rated commodity.
• Make sure you get on well with your squad mates and are enjoying training. Otherwise you won’t be giving in 100%.
• It was the first thing that went through my head when we touched the wall, I’m going to be on a stamp and I get to fly back business class. Terrible I know, but it’s just one of those exciting things that comes from being a gold medallist.\
• It’s been an incredible journey, I never really set out to be an Olympian, I just started swimming and I just got better and better at it. I took the first Olympics for granted because I was so young and I’ve really had to work extremely hard to get to this one and to get this result is absolutely incredible.
• Every Olympics will be such a different experience so it’s great to create a whole new set of stories and memories with someone I’m so close to.

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