As a 16-year-old Cate Campbell, who was born in Malawi, returned from Beijing 2008 with two bronze medals. She teamed with Libby Trickett (Lenton), Alice Mills and Melanie Schlanger to win a bronze medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay and then finished third behind Britta Steffen, of Germany, and the 41-year-old Dara Torres, from the United States, in the 50 metres freestyle.
She opened her London 2012 campaign in spectacular fashion as she lined up alongside Alicia Coutts, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger to win gold in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay on the opening night of competition. The Australians beat home the Dutch and American teams on their way to setting a new Olympic record and Campbell’s first Olympic title. She finished 7th in her semi-final of the 50m freestyle.
Four years later in Rio, Campbell claimed her second gold medal with Australia again crowned Olympic Champions in the 4x100m freestyle. The relay team of Emma McKeon, Brittany Elmslie, Cate and her sister Bronte broke the world record in a time of 3:30.65, bettering Australia's previous world-best mark of 3:30.98 set at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Cate emulated Dawn Fraser by medalling in the 4x100m relay in three successive Olympic Games.
Cate also claimed silver in the women’s 4x100m medley, Australia’s sixth consecutive Olympic medal in this event. The quartet of Emily Seebohm, Taylor McKeown, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell combined to clock a time of 3:55.00. The silver medal was won at the wall as a gutsy Campbell blitzed the field in the final leg to split an incredible time of 52.17, the fastest split of the night – faster than the USA’s gold medallist in the 100m freestyle Simone Manuel (52.43).
In her individual races it was heartbreak for Cate, finishing fifth in the women’s 50m freesryle and sixth in the 100m freestyle.
The African born athlete is the eldest of five siblings and moved to Australia in 2001 where she took up competitive swimming. Within six years she was a Youth Olympian and qualified for her first Olympics. Campbell grew up dreaming of being a ballerina, but now wants to have a career in the sports media industry when she hangs up her swimmers.