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The story behind gold medallist Kaylee McKeown’s swimming success

Neil Mitchell
Kaylee McKeown reacts to her win

Australia has a new golden girl, with Kaylee McKeown yesterday taking home the Olympic gold medal in the women’s 100m backstroke.

The 20-year-old Queenslander broke an Olympic record to win the event, and her post-game interview, during which she swore on live TV, has gone viral.

Her sister Taylor, who represented Australia in swimming at the Rio Olympics in 2016, told Neil Mitchell the “bogan side came out a little bit in Kaylee last night”.

But mum, Sharon, says her daughter isn’t in any trouble for her swearing incident.

“That’s just how we are!,” she told Neil Mitchell.

“We’re all cool, calm, collected — typical Aussies.”

Taylor says her younger sister benefitted from watching her mistakes during her swimming career.

“She’s been incredibly focused. I think she learnt a lot of things from watching me swim and has taken that and applied it to her own swimming career,” she said.

But Kaylee McKeown’s journey to gold in Tokyo hasn’t been an easy one.

Her father, Sholto, died last year after a two-year brain cancer battle.

Sharon says Kaylee knows her dad is always with her and that he’s helped her reach her sporting peak.

“She’s got that tattoo on her foot that says ‘I’ll always be with you’ and she sees that when she’s got her feet up ready to start, and that’s something she just carries with her every time she races and she believes her dad is there with her. That’s all you can do,” she said.

Press PLAY below to hear more from Kaylee’s sister and mum about her road to Olympic gold

Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Neil Mitchell