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Julie McDonald (swimmer)

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Title: Julie McDonald (swimmer)  
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Subject: Swimming at the 1988 Summer Olympics – Women's 800 metre freestyle, Australia at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, Hayley Lewis, Swimmers at the 1986 Commonwealth Games, Julia Greville
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Julie McDonald (swimmer)

Julie McDonald
Personal information
Full name Julie Maree McDonald
National team  Australia
Born (1970-03-14) 14 March 1970
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 66 kg (146 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle

Julie Maree McDonald (born 14 March 1970) is an Australian former long-distance freestyle swimmer of the 1980s and 1990s, who won a bronze medal in the 800m freestyle, swimming at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. She was often considered to be an outspoken and controversial swimmer, who switched to distance freestyle after starting as backstroker.

Her first international achievement was her debut at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, where she claimed a silver in the 800m freestyle, and the following year, she claimed gold and silver in the 800m and 400m freestyle events at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, setting a Commonwealth 800M record of 8 minutes 23.18 seconds, and defeating world record-holder Janet Evans of the United States. McDonald came to the 1988 Seoul Olympics as one of the fancied competitors in the 800m freestyle, and claimed the bronze medal, behind Janet Evans and East Germany's Astrid Strauss.

McDonald was the subject of controversy at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland when she apparently showed disdain at the selection of fellow distance swimmer, the flame-haired Janelle Elford. McDonald was quoted as saying I thought a typical Aussie had blonde hair, blue eyes and a tan ... I feel snubbed and unrecognized. After all I've got an Olympic bronze and hold the Commonwealth record. She later claimed to have been misquoted. McDonald proceeded to gold and silver in the 800m and 400m events, finishing one position ahead of Elford in both cases. She also claimed a gold in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay alongside Elford.

The Queensland swimmer finally got her recognition, when she was named as the Australian swimming captain for the 1991 World Championships in Perth. After failing to qualify for either the 400m or 800m freestyle final at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, she retired, but made a comeback in 1995 in an unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Julie McDonald is the sister of former Seven newsreader, Darren McDonald.

See also


  • Andrews, Malcolm (2000). Australia at the Olympic Games. Sydney, New South Wales:  
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