Sitting in front of the television in her home in Malawi, Africa, 6-year-old Bronte Campbell watched in awe as Grant Hackett swam to gold in the 1,500m at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. In that moment Bronte vowed to become an Olympian, and took up swimming a year later when the family moved to Australia.
Meanwhile, big sister Cate’s initial motivation for jumping into the pool was to beat Bronte. “It sounds terrible, but I had to be one better than Bronte,” Cate tells WHO. “She created me!”
From these humble beginnings two of the world’s fastest women, and one of sports great rivalries were created. For years the sisters (who insist they don’t really ever fight) have battled each other to become the fastest freestyle swimmer over 100m, with Cate, 24, breaking the world record in July. However, their bigger dream was to be able to race together, in an Olympic relay. And on Sunday, they will get the chance to do that in Rio.
“I think back to when we were kids, sitting in the family car, talking about our Olympic dream. We wanted to do it together and to stand next to each other on a world stage,” says Bronte, 22, of her best friend. “That’s what’s important!”
THE CAMPBELL SISTERS STORY FEATURES IN WHO’S SPECIAL OLYMPIC EDITION. FOR MORE, PICK UP THIS WEEK’S COPY OF WHO.
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