Aussie Swimming Legends Feature In Celebrity Relay At Olympic Trials


Some of Australian swimming’s most prominent figures featured in a celebrity relay to conclude the third night of racing from the 2024 Olympic Trials in Brisbane.

The 6×50 freestyle relay was, by all accounts, a chaotic scene with nearly 50 celebrities on pool deck simultaneously and some teams seemingly switching their relay order up until the last minute.

Australian swimming legend Dawn Fraser was the honorary starter of the race, as the eight-time Olympic medalist has been on hand all week, supporting her god daughter, Lani Pallister, who qualified for her first Olympic team on Monday in the women’s 400 freestyle.

In terms of former swimmers, Susie O’NeillJodie HenryMelanie SchlangerKy Hurst, Mack Horton, David McKeonAlice MillsJessicah Schipper, Linda Mackenzie, Chris Wright, Brooke Hanson, Rob Woodhouse and Brenton Rickard were all competing in the race, with Hurst leading off and Rickard anchoring the victorious “Team Hurst” in a time of 2:48.89.

The presence of the former swimming greats was obvious when looking at the results, with six athletes splitting under 25 seconds—something no regular celebrity could muster.

Nine Network television anchor Karl Stefanovic and former rugby star Johnathan Thurston were the two biggest non-swimmer celebrities in action. Jockey Michelle Payne and another rugby player, Sam Thaiday, were also in the event.

“I’m pretty cooked at the moment,” Thurston said post-race, according to The Brisbane Times. “Only 50 metres, and that’s all I had in me too.”

You can watch the relay here.

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1 month ago

This is actually such a neat idea that I’m surprised didn’t come up sooner, hope more countries try this

1 month ago

It actually looks fun😂

1 month ago

I heard Kyle Sockwell is swimming each finals race wearing jeans in lane 0 at US trials.

1 month ago

What a great idea! I wish USA swimming would copy the Australians and add this event to the final night of Trials!

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Danjohnrob
1 month ago

since you’ve brought it up, who would be in the lineup?

Last edited 1 month ago by Emily Se-Bom Lee
Masters Swammer
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
1 month ago

There are a bunch of former swimming stars who will be attending as part of the media: Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Katie Hoff, Elizabeth Beisel, Rowdy Gaines, Mel Stewart, and probably many more.

If you’re looking for Indiana sports stars, maybe you could get Caitlin Clark (basketball, recently joined the WNBA team in Indianapolis), Danica Patrick (or any of the other successful IndyCar drivers), or Peyton Manning (was the quarterback for the Colts for many years). You’d probably have to pay these folks a hefty appearance fee, though.

Reply to  Masters Swammer
1 month ago

Since this was a charity event, I don’t they got an appareance fee. One would hope that even stars as big (and rich) as Peyton Manning would jump into a pool for free if it was for charity…

1 month ago

The stats are definitely wrong – it says whoever led off for team Karlo swam a 21.53 50 free – should give that person Armbruster’s Olympic spot haha

Nick the biased Aussie
1 month ago

Ky Hurst not Kai Hurst

1 month ago

Linda Mackenzie, Chris Wright, Brooke Hanson and Rob Woodhouse (now CEO) also swam. All have been international medalists.

1 month ago

Jodie Henry looks like she hasn’t aged a day since she retired from swimming.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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