After narrowly missing selection for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Emma McKeon almost walked away from competitive swimming. Fast-forward four years and the 22-year-old swim star has six Commonwealth Games medals under her belt and is lighting up the pool at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. But that’s not all – her brother, swimmer David McKeon, is on the team too!

Meet Aussie golden girl, Emma McKeon.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games was a surreal experience

Both my parents have competed at various Commonwealth Games so to follow in their footsteps was extremely exciting but also pretty nerve-wracking!

To equal my dad’s achievement and win four gold medals, I don’t think I can do the moment justice, but I can safely say I was a bundle of emotions – it was completely overwhelming.  

I’m often asked how it feels to have a won six medals in one Commonwealth Games – a record that [swimmers] Ian Thorpe and Susie O’Neill have also achieved – but I don’t see it that way. 

I wouldn’t put myself at their level – not just yet.

That's Gold

“My dad has influenced my swimming career a lot. Having competed in the Olympic Games himself, he knows what it’s like and has great advice to offer me,” Emma said.

My parents are my role models in swimming and in life

My dad has influenced my swimming career a lot. Having competed in the Olympic Games himself, he knows what it’s like and has great advice to offer me. 

He was my swimming coach for a while and during that time the best piece of advice he gave me was to keep it simple. 

Sometimes competing and even training at an elite level can get to you. You can wind up thinking it’s bigger than it really is. Dad reminds me that swimming isn’t everything and that I should relax and enjoy each moment – and I’m a much better swimmer because of it.

Susie O’Neill is my other big inspiration. I remember watching her at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Her humble attitude is something I’ve always admired. 

I’ve dreamt of competing at the Olympic Games since I was a young girl

The moment I realised I’d qualified for Rio 2016 – yeah, I was pretty excited. 

To compete at the Olympic Games has been a goal of mine for a long time, but there’s still work to be done. I don’t want to just compete, I want to do well, so I’m keeping my feet firmly on solid ground. 

I was already training pretty hard, and since the qualifying trials in April I’ve continued to train hard. 

Rio 2016

Emma McKeon, right, with her brother David, who is also competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and sister Kaitlin.

I’m competitive, but only with myself

I’ve always loved competing and I still do. I like pushing my limits so I’m in a constant competition with myself to improve. 

My brother David is on the Australian Olympic Team too, but there’s no sibling rivalry. While we’re both competitive, we’re not when it comes to each other. 

It was a really special moment competing alongside my brother, a golden moment in my life and my career.

A lot of our family have made the trip to Rio to support us, including my mum, my sister – who I haven’t seen all year because she’s on a gap year in the UK – and lots of extended family from Scotland. 

And with my brother on the Australian Olympic Swim Team with me, it doesn’t get much more golden than that. 

Emma McKeon joins the likes of swimmer turned musician Cody Simpson and Olympic hurdler Michelle Jenneke as an ambassador for the Coca-Cola “That’s Gold” Campaign.