Sport for Women

Swimming: Melanie Schlanger, Olympic Champion

After winning gold and silver in London, Melanie Schlanger is slowly getting used to life as an Olympic champion.

As the parades wind their way across Australian capital cities to say thankyou to our athletes, she says she still coming terms with gold in the 4 by 100 metres women’s relay. Melanie enjoyed the games immensely saying “London (was) great. The Olympics have been put together superbly and I have enjoyed every minute.” She says representing her country was a dream come true.

“I think I will have to pinch myself for long time to make sure it actually happened! It’s a complete honour to stand on the blocks representing Australia. I love my home country and to wear the coat of arms on my chest is a true privilege,” she said. In the lead up to the 4 x 100 metres relay Melanie trained for 40 hours a week for 18 months after having 10 months off in 2010. This was due to a battle with glandular fever and illness saw her unhealthy enough not to train. But this is all behind her saying that this was the “best block of training I have ever had.”

Before Melanie races she listens to music, mostly just when she is stretching before warm up. She said she always concentrates on the task at hand. “I am a very focused person so whether I am in the spotlight or flying under the radar my preparation remains the same. I enjoy my time swimming regardless of the situation. I really do love my sport.”

Anchoring the 4 x 100 metres along with Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell, Britanny Elmslie. Melanie felt confident that she could “swim the best race I could (but) didn’t know how the other girls I was racing would go. I was determined not to be the person that was passed in the final leg!” Melanie has always found it great fun to be in the relay because she has “three other girls out there to celebrate with! We are all good friends and it was a lot of fun.” Melanie says the support she has received online has been completely overwhelming and is happy to be home.

Melanie Schlanger is a Sport for Women Ambassador.

By Peter McAlpine on