Cate and Bronte Campbell back home in Brisbane after swimming world championships
At one point it appeared her pet pig Pepper had more chance of flying than Cate Campbell ever had of winning a world title.
But the Brisbane sprint star who has overcome years of injury, illness and torment to become world champion finally got to celebrate with her loved ones yesterday as she arrived home from Barcelona clutching her one gold and three silver medals.
Campbell and younger sister Bronte backpacked through Spain and Italy after the world titles, but were yesterday greeted by emotional parents Eric and Jenny and younger siblings Jessica, Hamish and Abigail to finally celebrate the family success together.
“It’s lovely to be home, it feels like world champs happened such a long time ago already but it’s still fresh in their minds,” Cate said.
“It’s been such a long time, I missed them more than I would have expected. It was definitely emotional seeing them there. They got me to where I am today.”
With no television coverage in Australia Jenny and Eric would wake at 2am to watch live timing on the internet and call family in South Africa for commentary on the races to follow their daughters’ progress.
Bronte also returned home with a relay silver medal, but it was Cate’s stunning 100m freestyle win that really brought home the bacon after years interrupted by glandular fever, post viral fatigue and pancreatitis.
“It was pretty cool but in some ways I think it was a relief,” Jenny said.
“As a parent you hurt with your kids but you also celebrate with your kids.
“You know that the tough times will end but often when you’re in the middle of it there doesn’t feel like there is going to be an end.”