Born May 20, 1992 Cate Campbell is an Australian Olympian. Originally from Malawai, Campbell grew up in Africa, but moved over to Australia in 2001. The future Olympian quickly took up competitive swimming – within just six years, she was named a Youth Olympian, and qualified for her first Olympics at age 16. Campbell is an animal lover, and has numerous pets including a pig, lizards and chickens. She currently trains with Commercial, under Coach Simon Cusack.
As the oldest of five Campbell siblings, the swimming gene runs in the family – her younger sister, Bronte, is also an elite, and world-ranked swimmer. They were the first Australian siblings to qualify for the same event at any Olympic Games in history. Standing just over 6-feet tall, Campbell and her sister are both elite sprinters.
Spokesman for positive body image
Campbell struggled with body-image issues, questioning whether being skinny would make her more successful. She currently is a spokesman for the Swimming Queensland Growing up in Lycra program, which fights to teach girls to be strong, and not just skinny.
Gold-medal wining breakout
At the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney Campbell came out with two gold medals from swims in the 50m freestyle and as a member of the 400m freestyle relay. The following year she swam at the Japan Open, winning the 50m freestyle setting new Australian and Commonwealth records.
She qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games at 16 years old – she won 2 bronze medals in the 50m freestyle and the 400m freestyle relay.
2009 World Championships
In her first of two World Championship appearances, Campbell finished third in the 50m freestyle at the 2009 Championships held in Rome. She suffered from injuries, and was taken off the 400m freestyle relay.
2012 London Olympics
After taking a bit of 2010 off due to injury, she bounced back to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics alongside sister, Bronte. She was apart of the gold-medal winning 400m freestyle relay.
2013 World Championships
Campbell has been extremely successful on the international level after London. At the 2013 World Championships she won the 100m freestyle, was runner-up in the 50m freestyle as well as the 400m freestyle and 400m medley relays.
2014 Pan Pacific Championships
In 2014 she competed at the Pan Pacific Championships as well as the Commonwealth Games, swimming her primary sprint events. At Pan Pacs she won gold in all of her events, including both relays, and picked up all gold at the Commonwealth Games plus a silver in the 50m freestyle.
2015 World Championships
Campbell approached the 2015 World Championships in Kazan as largely the frontrunner in the sprint events — she was ranked number one in the world in both the 100 and 50-meter events. She started off the meet with a gold on the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with help from her sister’s massive anchor leg.
Individually she came into the first in the 100-meter free, after splitting a sub-WR pace in the semi-finals. When the final came around, Campbell touched the wall in third, behind sister, Bronte, and the second-place finisher Sarah Sjostrom all within 0.3 seconds of each other. Campbell mentioned that her race wasn’t executed perfectly, but she was proud to see her sister take the gold. The Campbell sisters became the first family to stand on the podium together as individual medal winners in history.
In her second individual event, the 50-meter free, Campbell had maintained a steady hold of first place through the heats and semi-finals. In the final heat of the event, swimming in lane four, Campbell touched in fourth place again behind sister, Bronte, who took the gold. Campbell was a bit off her best time from 2015, but she still holds the year’s fastest time.
2016 Australian Olympic Trials
Campbell got her individual events off to a great start, winning the 100M Free with a time of 52.38, just five one hundredths of a second off her World Record. Sister Bronte made it a family affair finishing second. Campbell swam a blistering fast 50 free to win the event with a time of 23.84, touching ahead of her sister, Bronte Campbell’s 24.24. Both will swim tat even in Rio.
Three Aussie women finished the 100M Free in under 53 seconds, making them the team to beat for the Women’s 4x100M Free Relay. The trio of the Campbell sisters, and Emma McKeon, and possibly adding fourth place finisher Brittany Elmslie, who swam a 53.54 at Trials makes them look extremely tough to beat.
2016 Rio Olympics
Campbell won gold as part of the Australian Women’s 4x100M Freestyle Relay which also set a new World Record with a time of 3:30.65. As part of the silver medal winning 4x100M Medley Relay, Campbell and Australian teammates finished behind the USA.
As the current World Record holder in the 100M free, Campbell had high expectations, but could only manage a 6th place finish, even after breaking the Olympic Record in the heats and semifinals, with times of 52.78 and 52.71. Additionally, Campbell finished 5th in 50M Free.
Campbell took time off after the Rio Olympics, and didn’t compete for most of 2017. She announced that she would sit out of the 2017 World Championships and instead focus on the 2018 Commonwealth Games, with her return to competition being the 2017 Aussie Short Course Championships.
2017 Aussie Short Course Championships
Cate shocked the world in her return to competition, breaking a world record and posting a huge personal best in the 100m free (50.25) in her first finals race since Rio. The next day, she posted another huge personal best of 23.19 in the finals of the 50 free, breaking the super-suit commonwealth record in the process. In the first prelims session of the meet, she also won the timed finals of the 50 fly in 25.56.
2018 Commonwealth Games
After her competitive debut, Campbell looked primed for a home Comm Games in Gold Coast, and she did not disappoint. On the first night of competition, Campbell dropped the fastest female relay split in history (51.00) to carry the Aussie’s to not only a win, but a new world record of 3:30.05. In her first individual event, she won the 50 free (23.78) in a new personal best and commonwealth record. The next night, she got her hand on the wall first in the 50 fly (25.59), an event she was using to switch things up a bit. In her last individual event of the meet, She headed into the final of the 100 free seeded 1st with a new games record (52.64). However, her younger sister Bronte got the best of her on the 2nd 50 in the final heat and touched first with a new games record of 52.27, leaving Cate to settle for silver in 52.69.
2018 Pan Pacific Championships
On day 1 of pan pacs, Campbell threw down an insane 50.93 anchor to help the Aussies secure gold in the 400 mixed medley relay. Campbell came back on Day 2 to win the 100 free individually, posting a personal best (and 2nd fastest performance ever) time of 52.03. Campbell continued her streak of golds on day 3, anchoring the aussie women’s 4×100 free relay in another blistering split of 51.36 to touch nearly 2 seconds ahead of 2nd place team USA. On day 4, Campbell earned a pair of golds, first winning the 50 free in a meet record of 23.81. She finished off her pan pacs performance with a gold in the women’s 4×100 medley relay, anchoring for Australia in a time of 51.19.
2019 World Championships
Campbell started her world championships in the women’s 4×100 free relay, where she split a field best 51.45 on the 4th leg to help Australia get a gold medal and championship record.
On Day 4, she anchored the 4×100 mixed medley relay, splitting a blistering 51.10 to help the Aussie touch for gold in a tough battle with the USA that was decided by just .02.
Campbell took her 1st loss of the championships on Day 6, touching for silver behind American Simone Manuel in the 100 free at 52.43.
Campbell finished up her individual schedule in the 50 free on Day 8, touching for 3rd in a time of 24.11, marking her first world medal in this event since 2013. Campbell finished the meet by picking up free duties on the 4×100 medley relay, splitting 51.96 to once again aid the Aussies to a silver medal.
2020 Olympic Games
Campbell started her 4th Olympic off much the same as the other 3: by helping Australia dominate the women’s 4×100 free relay. In the final of the event, Cate Campbell anchored the relay, given a huge lead by Emma Mckeon’s field-best 51.35. Campbell threw down a 52.2 split herself, solidifying Australia’s stranglehold in the event by smashing their own world record in 3:29.69 for gold.
Campbell was back in the 100 free, swimming a strong race next to her countrywomen Emma Mckeon and touching for 3rd behind Mckeon and Siobhan Haughey, earning her first Olympic medal in the 100 free, a bronze.
Campbell finished her Games on Day 8, finishing 7th in the 50 free and then anchoring Australia’s medley relay, swimming 52.11 to touch first and earn gold for Australia.