A History Making Morning

31 July 2021
McKeown and Seebohm show off their Olympic medals.
Written by: Australian Olympic Committee

Kaylee McKeown asked bronze medallist Emily Seebohm to join her on the top rung of the podium for the Australian national anthem as the Dolphins celebrated their seventh gold medal in the pool, equalling its most successful foreign Olympics of all time.

It was a chaotic morning of swimming which saw Emma McKeon sprint from setting an Olympic record in the 50m Freestyle semi-finals, to a makeshift warm-down pool, and then to swimming the anchor leg of the mixed medley relay team in which she fought off the alpha male of these Games, Caeleb Dressell, to win an historic bronze.

That was the medal that propelled McKeon to greatness. It was her fifth of these Games – making her, to date, the most successful athlete of any sport in Tokyo – and her ninth overall. 

She now joins Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones as the most successful Australian Olympians of all time with nine medals. And the scary thing, she's not finished yet. She has the 50m Freestyle – in which she is the front-runner – and the Women's Medley Relay to come on the final day. Seven events. Maybe seven medals.

In the midst of it all, there came a touching, almost unprecedented moment at the victory ceremony for the Women's 200m Backstroke when the gold medallist invited the bronze medallist to share the top rung alongside her for the playing of the national anthem.

It was a remarkable gesture of respect from one generation of Australian backstrokers to the one that had gone before it as dual Olympic champion McKeown invited Emily Seebohm to step up to a level of the dais that she had never experienced before in an individual event. But more than that, it was a way of saying "thank you". 

For the full wrap of this morning’s action from the pool, visit the AOC’s website.

McKeown and Seebohm share the podium
An inspiring moment as McKeown and Seebohm share the Olympic podium.
Arnie with her silver medal in the 800m free.
'Arnie' secures her fourth medal of the Games, a silver in the 800m free.


Our Mixed Medley Team shine with their bronze medals.
The 4x100m Mixed Medley Relay team notched up another bronze medal for the swim team.

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