Culture / People

The Aussie Olympians you should know about before the Paris 2024 Games kick off next month

The Aussie Olympians you should know about before the Paris 2024 Games kick off next month

Australians have always punched above their weight when it comes to world class sporting events. Maybe its our abundant natural surrounds or access to fabulous weather year-round, but when it comes to sports – we're hitting with the heavyweights.

For this year's Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the official Olympics website announcement brings the Australian Olympic Team size to 139 athletes of an expected 460 athletes to compete in Paris. That's a huge number of athletes to get to know before the games kick off on Friday 26 July 2024. But if you want to get to know a couple of key players (pun intended) in this year's games – we've got you covered with the Australian athletes we think you should know about.

 

1. Kaylee McKeown (Swimming)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kaylee McKeown OAM (@kaylee_mckeown)

One name that resonates with a promise of excellence and elegance in the pool is Kaylee McKeown. Australia's backstroke virtuoso, McKeown, is poised to emerge from the shadows of Tokyo with a glittering array of medals. In Paris, McKeown will take on her signature events: the 100m and 200m backstroke, along with the individual medley.

But it’s not just her athletic feats that set her apart. McKeown's story is one of inspiration. Kaylee’s path to greatness has been marked by personal loss and heartache – the passing of her father in 2020 was a devastating blow right before the Tokyo Games. But despite the personal tragedy, at the Tokyo Games, Kaylee shattered world records and claimed multiple gold medals, redefining what’s possible in backstroke events.

 

2. Logan Martin (BMX)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Logan Martin OAM (@loganmartinbmx)

The BMX freestyling prodigy from the Gold Coast etched his name in history as the first man to clinch Olympic gold in the sport, dazzling the Tokyo Games with his prowess. Entering as the favourite in Tokyo, Logan Martin needed just one electrifying run in the final, scoring a remarkable 93.3. In the lead-up, Martin had transformed his backyard into a skatepark, a project that has grown into a $120,000 masterpiece, complete with continual additions and maintenance.

 

3. Ariarne Titmus (Swimming)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ariarne Titmus (@ariarnetitmus_)

As the City of Lights gears up for the 2024 Olympics, all eyes are on Ariarne Titmus, Australia's golden girl of swimming. Hailing from sunny Queensland, Titmus has solidified her place as a titan in the sport, with a string of breathtaking performances that left the world in awe after Tokyo. Titmus captured hearts and headlines with her fierce rivalry against American superstar Katie Ledecky, but now, as Paris beckons, she'll be diving into a highly anticipated lineup, including the 200m, 400m, and 800m freestyle events.

But speaking to Nine after a qualifying race, Titmus admitted having such stiff competition from her Aussie teammates.

 

4. Jess and Noemie Fox (Canoe Slalom and Kayak Cross)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noémie (@_noemiefox)

In the exhilarating world of Olympic canoe slalom, Jess and Noemie Fox – sisters from Sydney – are rewriting the narrative with every rapid they conquer. Jess Fox, a seasoned Olympian and one of the most decorated canoe slalom athletes, will compete in the C1 and K1 events, as well as the new kayak cross discipline, making her the first Australian canoe slalom athlete to compete in four Olympic Games​ according to the Australian Olympic Committee​. Younger sister Noemie Fox, following in her sister’s illustrious footsteps, qualifying for the kayak cross event, which will debut at the Paris Games. Her qualification came after a stellar performance at the Canoe Slalom World Cup in Prague, where she secured a silver medal, ensuring her spot in the Australian team​.

 

5. Mollie O'Callaghan (Swimming)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ’ (@mollie_ocal)

Mollie O'Callaghan, the red-headed powerhouse swimmer from Brisbane has taken the swimming world by storm. At just 20 years old, she’s transitioned from relay swimmer at the Tokyo Games to a global sensation in her own right. With three individual world titles under her belt in the 100m and 200m freestyle, and a world record in the 200m freestyle, O'Callaghan's ascent is nothing short of spectacular.

As we look ahead to Paris, the buzz is building. Could Mollie really bring home six gold medals? The 100m and 200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle, 4x100m medley, and 4x100m mixed medley events are all within her reach.

Giaan Rooney, Nine’s expert swimming commentator, captures the anticipation perfectly. “I think she's one of the strongest contenders across the board. Mollie could very realistically come away with an absolute swag of gold medals around her neck," Rooney told Wide World of Sports.

 

6. Nina Kennedy (Women's Pole Vault)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by NINA KENNEDY (@ninakennedy_)

Nina Kennedy and Katie Moon shared a golden moment at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, choosing to split victory in the women’s pole vault after both missed clearing 4.95 metres. Kennedy shattered her own Australian record twice, soaring over 4.85 and 4.90.

The Tokyo 2020 gold was secured with a vault of 4.90 metres, and at this year’s Australian Athletics Championships in Adelaide, Kennedy claimed the national title with a 4.65-metre vault. The 27-year-old from Western Australia, despite battling stress fractures in her back, remains undeterred. An interesting fact about Nina Kennedy is that she is not only a stellar athlete but also an accomplished musician. Kennedy plays the violin, a talent she has nurtured since childhood, and often credits her musical training with helping her develop the focus and discipline needed for her pole vaulting career.

 

7. Kyle Chalmers (Swimming)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kyle Chalmers (@kyle_chalmers3)

Since his electrifying debut in Rio 2016, where he clinched gold in the 100m freestyle (making him the first Australian to do so in nearly 50 years), to his relentless pursuit of excellence in Tokyo 2020, Kyle Chalmers is one of the Australian swimming team's crown jewels. Chalmers' remarkable performances at both Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games have solidified his status as one of Australia's premier swimmers on the world stage. Off the pool deck, he's an avid AFL fan and a passionate advocate for mental health, openly discussing his own struggles to help destigmatise the conversation.

 

8. Emma McKeon (Swimming)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Emma McKeon (@emmamckeon)

Of course, what list of 'Olympians to know' would be complete without the golden girl of the swim team – Emma McKeon. Newly a Dior Ambassador, the Aussie is an 11-time medallist who won four gold medals at Tokyo Olympics. She's also an an eight-time world record holder. Poised on the brink of Olympic glory once more, she's set to make waves in Paris, standing ready to redefine greatness and leave an indelible mark on the world stage.

 

9. Arisa Trew (Skateboarding)

The mighty Arisa Trew is going places. Currently ranking 14th in the world for skateboarding, she has qualified in Shanghai for the Parisian Olympics with her hot pink cheetah-printed skateboard and determination in spades. The 14-year old from Gold Coast will be one to keep your eyes fastened in the leadup to the big games.

 

10. Chloe Covell (Skateboarding)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chloe Covell (@chlo_the_flo)


The youngest gold medallist in the history of skateboarding is not a light title to bestow. At 14, she's skipping school to watch the pros duke it out before joining them herself in Paris. With a start in the league at the age of 5, Covell has gone on to claim a Street League Skateboarding win and a silver medal at the World Champs.  Her dream is to bring home the Olympics gold. We'll be cheering her on until destiny becomes manifest.

 

Stay inspired, follow us.

Feature images: one, two.