Born Aug. 31, 1986 Melanie Wright is a sprint freestyle specialist from Queensland, Australia. Wright, also known by her former last name – Schlanger, is a two-time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist. Wright was athletic growing up, but didn’t begin swimming until she was 14 years old. Wright currently trains at Southport Olympic Swimming Club under Coach Glenn Baker.
Wright holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science, and wants to continue studying medicine once she finishes her swimming career. She’s been married to former Olympic swimmer, Chris Wright, since Sept. 2014.
Wright won her first senior medal at the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships with bronze medal swims in the 400m freestyle relay, 800m freestyle relay and the 100m freestyle. The following year she competed at the World Championships, where she won gold on the 400m freestyle relay. That same year, her relay broke the World Record in the short course 400m freestyle relay.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics,Wright ended her first Olympic Games with a gold medal and a world record in the 800m freestyle relay – a swim that was actually done in the early heats. She also earned a bronze medal on the 400m freestyle relay.
Wright began training with Coach Baker after developing Cytomegalovirus. She was so exhausted from the condition that she chose to retire early in 2009. But after 10 months of recovery, Wright knew her swimming career wasn’t truly over, and she came back to the sport, choosing to train under Baker.
Return to swimming
By late 2011, and after coming out of retirement, Wright was back to her old self, and was on the top of the list of international rankings again. With just a year of training under belt, Wright managed to qualify for her second Olympic Games.
Wright swam at the 2012 Olympics as a member of the 400m freestyle relay. This time around, she swam the anchor leg on the gold-medal winning 400m freestyle relay, which was Australia swimming’s only gold medal there.
As of May 2015 she’s one of the top swimmers in the world in the long course 50m freestyle.