From Spring Hill to Paris: Bronte Campbell Seeks Olympic Comeback

Two-time gold medallist Bronte Campbell, who honed her skills at the Centenary Pool in Spring Hill, is gearing up for her fourth Olympics at Paris 2024 after taking an 18-month break from the pool to recover from severe injuries and focus on her corporate career.

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A journey of pain and recovery

At 27, Bronte Campbell was in crippling pain despite her gold medal victory at the Tokyo Olympics. She struggled with severe injuries to her shoulder, neck, back, and hip, making daily activities agonising.

The relentless workload of training and competing had taken a toll on her body and mind, leading her to consider retiring from professional swimming.

In 2021, Campbell took what would be an 18-month hiatus from swimming to focus on her studies and a new career. She completed her degree in business at the Queensland University of Technology and began working as a senior consultant at Ernst & Young.

Bronte Campbell returns, faces tough competition

Despite her success in the corporate world, Campbell felt an undeniable pull to return to swimming. The break had allowed her to rehabilitate her injuries and build strength, and she found herself in the lowest level of pain in years.

Realising she could swim without pain, Campbell made the decision to chase her fourth Olympic appearance. She left her job at Ernst & Young and moved to Canberra to train at the Australian Institute of Sport under new coach Shannon Rollason.

“To step away and make a change and then come back, that was really powerful for me,” Campbell said.

In the lead-up to Paris, Campbell faces stiff competition — the women’s 100m freestyle at the Australian Olympic swimming trials is set to be one of the toughest races.

There, she will have to compete with other top contenders including Emma McKeon, Shayna Jack, Cate Campbell, Meg Harris, and Mollie O’Callaghan.

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As Bronte Campbell prepares for the Paris Olympics, her journey from pain to recovery and her relentless pursuit of excellence inspire many.

Whether she continues to compete beyond Paris or not, her impact on the sport and her commitment to her passions are undeniable.

Published 10-June-2024