Emily Seebohm is a backstroke specialist from Australia. She is an Olympic, World, and Commonwealth champion.
Born in the city of Adelaide, Seebohm is most known for her dominance in backstroke, but she’s also pretty versatile, competing in the IM events, freestyle and butterfly. She loves horses, spending time with friends and family and going shopping. Seebohm recently moved to train with Brisbane Grammar Swimming under Coach David Lush.
After her swimming career Seebohm wants to work within the fitness industry — her favorite sporting team is the Melbourne Storm. Her favorite movie is Mean Girls, and her favorite place to go on vacation is Bora Bora.
Seebohm first made headlines in 2007, when she made Australia’s World Championship Team at just 14 years old. At the Australian Championships that year, she picked up a win in the 100m backstroke, which served as the selection for Worlds. At the meet in Melbourne, she swam on the 400m medley relay, winning gold, and finished fourth in the 100m backstroke.
Right after her breakout season Seebohm competed at the 2008 Brisbane Catholic Schoolgirls Championships breaking the Commonwealth and Australian Records in the 50m backstroke. Later that year she broke the World Record in the event at the Australian Championships, but she chose to forego the event in the finals, and focused on the 100m backstroke — an actual Olympic event. Her time in the 100 that night was the fifth-fastest of all time, and she became the first Australian woman to finish in under 1:00.
Seebohm competed in her first Olympic Games in 2008. She finished ninth in the 100m backstroke, just outside the final, and she also won gold as apart of Australia’s 400m medley relay.
Another World Record in 2009
In 2009 Seebohm swam at the World Championships, which were held in Rome — she won bronze in the 100m backstroke, which was her best individual finish of the meet. Seebohm added the 200m IM to her event list though. Later in the year at the Australian Short Course Championships Seebohm broke the world record in the 100m IM.
2010 Pan Pacific and Commonwealth Games
At the Pan Pacific Championships Seebohm made a huge statement on the international scene. She won the 200m IM and the 100m backstroke, beating Natalie Coughlin, won silver in the 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 400m freestyle relay. She also broke the Championship Record in the 100m backstroke, when leading off the 400m medley relay. Later at the Commonwealth Games, Seebohm brought home eight medals.
At the 2012 London Olympics, which were Seebohm’s second Olympic Games, she broke the Olympic Record in the qualifier of the 100m backstroke. She won a silver medal in the final.
2013 World Championships
In 2013 Seebohm qualified for the World Championships at the Australian Swimming Championships. She won silver in the 100m backstroke, and was a member of both 400m relays.
In the 2014 season Seebohm competed at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships. She won gold medals in the 100m backstroke, and even picked up a silver in the 200m backstroke — an event that she didn’t compete in all that often. In 2015 she’s one of the top-10 fastest swimmers worldwide.
At the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Seebohm definitely made a name for herself. After qualifying 1st in the semi-finals in the 100m backstroke, Seebohm was in the middle of the pool for the final. She took out the first 50 meters strong, and was the only swimmer in the field to split under 30 seconds. She touched the wall 1st ahead of teammate Madison Wilson for the gold.
Seebohm also competed in the 200m backstroke at Worlds, taking on 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Missy Franklin. She approached this race similarly; her 100-meter spit was the 2nd-fastest in the field where Seebohm was neck-and-neck with Franklin. Franklin began to pull ahead on the third 50, but at the 150-meter mark, Franklin began to fade and Seebohm powered ahead splitting 31.14 to Franklin’s 32.98 for gold.
In addition to her longer events Seebohm also swam in the 50m back, where she picked up a 4th-place finish just missing the podium for her third individual medal. Seebohm also led off the Australian 4x100m medley relay team for a gold medal.
2016 Australian Swimming Championships (Australia’s Olympic Selection Meet)
Seebohm made her third Olympic Team by winning the 100M Backstroke, swimming to a 58.73. She then finished second behind Belinda Hocking to secure a spot for the 200M Backstroke as well. She will most likely swim the 4x100M Medley relay as well.
2016 Rio Olympics
Seebohm finished seventh in the finals of the Women’s 100M backstroke. Her time was over seven tenths of a second behind first, but only four tenths behind the bronze medal winners.
2017 FINA World Championships
Day three of World Championships in the 100m backstroke Seebolm won the bronze with a 58.59. She finished behind Kylie Masse of Canada, who broke the World Record (58.10), and Kathleen Baker of the Team USA.
In the 50m backstroke, Seebohm set a new Oceanic Record with a time of 27.37 but finished fourth just off the podium.
Day seven of competition, Seebohm roared home in 31.38, successfully defending her 200m backstroke world title in 2:05.68, a new Australian and Championship record. Seebohm’s win marked the first gold for the meet for Australia.
In the 4x100m medley relay, Seebohm led off with a 58.53 to led Australia to a bronze medal. Teaming with Taylor McKeown, Emma McKeon and Bronte Campbell, Australia finished behind the US and the Netherlands.
2018 Commonwealth Games
Seebohm picked up a gold medal in the 50 backstroke with a time of 27.78, a silver in the 100 back (58.66) and a bronze in the 200 back (2:06.82).
2018 Pan Pacific Championships
On day 2 of pan pacs, Seebohm picked up another 100 back silver, touching 2nd in a time of 58.72. On day 3, she led of the gold medal winning 4×100 free relay in a time of 54.56, which would go on to break the pan pac championship record. On day 4, after placing 6th in the 200 back (2:07.12), She finished off her pan pacs performance with a gold in the women’s 4×100 medley relay, pulling backstroke duties once again with a split of 59.28.
2018 Short Course World Championships
In Hangzhou, Seebohm finished off her year with 2 bronze medals. She touched 3rd individually in the 200 back (2:01.37) and helped Australia in the 4×50 free relay to a bronze medal.
2020 Olympic Games
In her 4th Olympics, Seebohm won her first individual Olympic medal in the 200 back, placing 3rd at 2:06.17 behind her countrymate, Kaylee Mckeown, who placed 1st. In a show of graciousness and pride, Seebohm presented McKeown with her gold medal during the ceremony. Seebohm also placed 5th in the 100 back at 58.45.
To wrap her Olympic Games, Seebohm swam in the prelims of the 400 medley relay, splitting 59.36 to help Australia advance to the final, where they won gold.