Kenmore Swim Star Cate Campbell Ends Olympic Bid with Emotional Farewell

Cate Campbell
Photo Credit: Olympics/Instagram

Kenmore pays tribute to hometown swimming legend and Kenmore State High School alumna Cate Campbell as she makes a graceful exit after narrowly missing out on qualifying for her fifth Olympic Games. The talented swimmer has collected eight Olympic medals across four previous Olympics.

In a night filled with high emotions, Cate’s storied career came to a close without the fairytale ending she had hoped for. Despite a world-class performance, timing in at 24.76 seconds and finishing in 7th place in the 50-m freestyle, she acknowledged the significant achievement of her competitors, who paused their celebrations to share a poignant moment with her.

Sister’s Success

Meanwhile, Cate’s sister, Bronte, also a Kenmore State High School alumna, secured her place in the 4x100m freestyle relay, marking her fourth Olympic appearance.

The Australian Olympic Swimming Trials concluded with the announcement of a 41-person swimming team for the Paris Olympics. The team features a mix of seasoned athletes and 22 debutants, including Olympic veterans such as Kyle Chalmers and Emma McKeon.

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Emotional Farewell

Reflecting on her career, Cate expressed deep gratitude for the journey and the people she’s encountered along the way. From her beginnings as a 9-year-old budding talent in the Brisbane Aquatic Centre to her final race, she feels privileged to conclude her career meaningfully, surrounded by friends, family, and fans.

Shayna Jack and Meg Harris, who secured their individual Olympic spots during the trials, honoured Cate by delaying their victory celebrations. Their tribute highlighted Cate’s influence and legacy in Australian swimming. Shayna, having won the 50m freestyle final, and Meg, making her first individual Olympic berth, exemplified the rising generation of Australian sprinters.

On the support from competitors: “The fact there were two girls who qualified for an Olympic Games, which is no mean feat, one of them for her first individual spot in Meg Harris — that they put their celebrations on hold and came over is one of the most incredible moments and something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”

Cate Campbell: Legacy of a Champion

Cate’s impact on the sport extends beyond her own achievements. As a former world record holder and a multiple Olympic medalist, her career has inspired a new generation of swimmers. Her presence at the trials was a momentous occasion for both fans and fellow competitors, who expressed their admiration and respect for her contributions to Australian swimming.

On her career and the farewell: “Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. I would have loved to have that fairytale ending more than anything else. But I can now sit back and reflect on a wonderful career. I can leave the sport with my head held really high.”

Reflecting on her emotional journey: “It’s bitter-sweet. I had hoped for the fairytale ending and it’s what I had worked for and what I felt I was capable of, and unfortunately my body just said ‘no’.”

On her final moments in the pool: “This is the end, and it’s a perfect way to exit the pool. My first major competition was in this swimming pool, maybe over 20 years ago. I warmed up in this pool just behind us for the first time as a nine-year-old and tonight I warmed up in it as a 32-year-old, and I got to walk out and swim in a swimming pool that I’ve competed in so many times, that I’ve qualified for teams in, that I’ve broken world records in.”

A Look Ahead

As the Paris 2024 Olympics approach, the Australian swimming team looks robust with a blend of experience and fresh talent. The trials have not only marked the end of an era with the retirement of Cate Campbell but also the beginning of promising careers for Australia’s future swimming stars.

Here’s the Australian Olympic swimming team for Paris:  

  • Sprinters and Relay Specialists: Kyle Chalmers, Emma McKeon, Bronte Campbell, Shayna Jack, Meg Harris
  • IM Swimmers: Brendon Smith, Will Petric, Jenna Forrester, Ella Ramsay
  • Distance Freestyle: Lani Pallister, Moesha Johnson
  • Others: Iona Anderson, Ben Armbruster, Jaclyn Barclay, Jack Cartwright, Abbey Connor, Isaac Cooper, Lizzie Dekkers, Max Giuliani, Zac Incerti, Se-Bom Lee, Cameron McEvoy, Kaylee McKeown, Thomas Neill, Mollie O’Callaghan, Alex Perkins, Jamie Perkins, Sam Short, Flynn Southam, Jenna Strauch, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Kai Taylor, Matt Temple, Brianna Throssell, Ariarne Titmus, Sam Williamson, Brad Woodward, Olivia Wunsch, Elijah Winnington, William Yang, Joshua Yong

Published 17-June-2024