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How do you like to travel around Brisbane, what is your favourite

journey and why?

As often as possible I leave my car in the garage. I usually get around the

CBD and surrounding suburbs either by walking, catching the CityGlider

bus or riding the yellow CityCycles. In 2013 I was working three days a

week in the city and I used to cycle in every morning. I much prefer to

cycle than walk – it’s so much faster!

Favourite city in another country that you have been?

I have been lucky to visit some pretty cool places thanks to my swimming.

My favourite would have to be Barcelona where the World Championships

were held last year. However, Rome in 2009 comes a close second. I love

the history surrounding all the European countries.

When you compete in other cities do you get time to be a tourist?

Unfortunately most of the cities that I have been to, I haven’t really explored.

When I travel to compete I am there to represent my country, not to be a

tourist. Often we fly in a week out from competing, train, compete and then

fly out the next day. We get to see our hotel and the swimming pool and any

cool historic sites that happen to be along the way.

Where would you like to go that you haven’t been yet?

I would love to go to Iceland. A few of my friends have been over there

this year and it looks absolutely stunning!

You came to Brisbane fromMalawi when you were 9. Can you

remember what was your first impression of Brisbane?

I think my first impression was that it was so cold! That seems ludicrous as

Brisbane has very mild winters, but in Malawi there is a rainy season and

a dry season instead of summer and winter. We moved over in late June/

early July and were completely taken aback.

Where did you first learn to swim?

My mum taught me how to swim in our backyard pool. Some of my

earliest and fondest memories of swimming are her giving me and my

friends swimming lessons after school.

What prompted you to start swimming competitively?

I think I just loved it so much. I am also very competitive by nature and so

I started competing at small swim meets. I discovered that I had a natural

talent for swimming and, as you usually enjoy things that you are good at,

my love of the sport progressed from there.

You’ve won a swag of medals, is there one you are particularly

proud of?

I don’t think there is one that I can say I am most proud of. I value the

medal, not by its colour but rather by the achievement it represents. If I

had to pick one I think it would have to be my bronze medal from the

2008 Beijing Olympic Games for the 50m freestyle. It is not the most

impressive looking medal, and most people have forgotten that I even

won it, but when I look at it I see a scared 16-year-old who managed to

triumph over her fear and nerves.

You’re recovering from shoulder surgery. How’s that going?

It is a slow process that can’t be rushed. I am back in the water, slowly

turning my arms over and have an extensive rehab program set out by my

physio to keep me very busy.

You’ve been to two Olympic Games and won medals. Is Rio already

marked on your calendar?

Rio is definitely a major goal for me at the moment. I have always said

that I will swim until I stop loving it and at the moment I can see myself

going on to Rio and beyond. I race and train my best when I am relaxed

and I find that setting goals, even for myself, puts me under pressure. I

don’t want to stand behind a starting block thinking that I have to achieve

a certain target. I want to stand behind the blocks having complete faith in

my training and ready to have the time of my life.

“When my family and l moved

here from Malawi, one of

the first places we visited

was South Bank. I remember

being so taken with the idea

of a man-made beach in the

middle of the city...”

BNE December 2014/January 2015 |


Cate Campbell photographed at the rooftop pool

of Emporium Hotel, Fortitude Valley