One of 45 Griffith student and alumni athletes and staff members who proudly wore the green and gold in Tokyo, she admits the journey to date, culminating in a swag of medals and international acclaim, has been pretty surreal.
“It’s still taken a lot to sink in, even though we’ve had the time… to reflect and kind of slow down a bit,” she said.
“It is just all a bit of a whirlwind, really, because we’ve had the last five years of training, then we had the delay of the Games, and then all of a sudden, the trials and then Olympics, and then the next day, get on the plane, come home, get into quarantine. It’s been really, really busy and just a lot to process.”
Returning to Australia with four Gold and three Bronze medals, making her the most decorated Australian athlete ever at a single Olympics, McKeon admits she’s staying out of the water in the short term.
“I’m going to have a bit of a break, and these two weeks (in quarantine), I haven’t done any exercise at all, which has been nice.
“I won’t be rushing back into training, but I will be swimming a little bit because I’m going to go over and do the international swim league in Italy, but that’s pretty much it for the rest of the year, from about September.”
Griffith University connections achieved a grand total of 19 medals in Tokyo, almost double the number secured in Rio (11) five years ago.
University athletes, which included 27 on debut, were together awarded nine Gold, one Silver and nine Bronze medals, recorded a swag of personal bests and logged experiences they’ll remember for a lifetime.
Griffith Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said just qualifying for the Games was a heroic feat.
“We are incredibly proud of all those from the Griffith community who were selected to represent Australia at the Olympic Games,” Professor Evans said.
“Griffith’s Olympic contingent has provided moments for our whole community to savour and celebrate.”
Gold medals went to swimmers Emma McKeon (4), Psychological Science and Business student Zac Stubblety-Cook, Business student Meg Harris, Nursing student Chelsea Hodges and Emily Seebohm (part of the Griffith High Performance Swim Squad), along with MBA student, kayaker Jessica Fox.
Silver was awarded to Business student and Hockeyroo Tim Howard.
Bronze medals were achieved by featherweight boxer and Business student Harry Garside (winning Australia’s first Olympic boxing medal since 1988), Jessica Fox and swimmers Emma McKeon (3), Zac Stubblety-Cook, Science (Honours) student Cam McEvoy, Meg Harris and Emily Seebohm.
Griffith also has nine students, alumni and coaching staff selected to represent Australia at the upcoming Paralympics, three of which are on debut in Tokyo.
“Griffith student and alumni para athletes will represent Australia in Tokyo in the sports of canoe-sprint, athletics, swimming, taekwondo, wheelchair basketball and triathlon,” Griffith Sports College Manager Naomi McCarthy OAM said.
“They’re also joined by Griffith Sports College member and High Performance Rowing Coach Lincoln Handley, selected to coach the Australian PR2 Mixed Double Sculls.
“Many of these elite athletes have been part of the Griffith community for years, including Bachelor of Business student Madison De Rozario and Bachelor of Industrial Design alumnus Matt McShane.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the chance to watch them pursue opportunities at the highest level and incredibly proud of the role Griffith Sports College has held in assisting these elite athletes to continue their training and competition commitments alongside study opportunities.”Jump to next article