Tokyo Olympics: Kaylee McKeown’s family defends Aussie swimmer’s ‘potty mouth’ after gold medal win


The proud family of Australia’s newest golden girl of the pool have laughed off the  Olympian’s surprising choice of words in a post-race interview. 

Swimmer Kaylee McKeown won Australia’s third gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics when she stormed home in the dying stages of the 100 final backstroke final, coming within 0.02 seconds of her own world record.

A live poolside interview moments afterwards threatened to overshadow the win, where an enthusiastic McKeown accidently dropped the F-bomb while dedicating the race to her late father.

Cheering back home on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast were mum Sharon and older sister Taylor, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist.

The pair weren’t surprised about McKeown’s potty mouth, which they put down to raw emotion and excitement.

Kaylee McKeown (pictured)broke an Olympic record on her way to gold in the 100 metres backstroke

Kaylee McKeown (pictured)broke an Olympic record on her way to gold in the 100 metres backstroke

‘She could see us on the screen and I think she was so excited to know her family was watching,’ Taylor told The Project.

‘She let it all out. Good on her. She can say what she wants, she’s a bloody Olympic champion.

The Project’s Carrie Bickmore quipped that Taylor’s second word during the interview was ‘crap’.

‘Sharon, are they getting their potty mouths from you?’ she asked.

Ms McKeown threw her hands up and replied ‘go figure.’ 

She finally got to speak to her daughter on the phone four hours after the race, where she took a cheeky jibe over the F-bomb.

‘I had a dig at her and she was like, “ah, whatever mum”,’ she said.

Sister Tyalor and mum Sharon (pictured) laughed off Kaylee McKeown's potty mouth in her post-race interview moments after winning gold

Sister Tyalor and mum Sharon (pictured) laughed off Kaylee McKeown's potty mouth in her post-race interview moments after winning gold

Sister Tyalor and mum Sharon (pictured) laughed off Kaylee McKeown’s potty mouth in her post-race interview moments after winning gold

The family have rallied around Kaylee (right) in the lead up to the Tokyo Games, with her father Sholto (second right) dying before he could see his daughter win her first gold medal

The family have rallied around Kaylee (right) in the lead up to the Tokyo Games, with her father Sholto (second right) dying before he could see his daughter win her first gold medal

The family have rallied around Kaylee (right) in the lead up to the Tokyo Games, with her father Sholto (second right) dying before he could see his daughter win her first gold medal

It’s been a tough 12 months for the family after McKeown’s father Sholto lost his battle with brain cancer in August last year.

McKeown blew a kiss to her late father in the pool moments after winning gold, saying she hoped she made him proud.

‘He would have been over the moon, jumping higher than Taylor, jumping up and down,’ Sharon said.

Taylor added: ‘The last 12 months have been a roller-coaster on and off, good things, bad things happening. 

‘We’ve been saying that Kaylee’s resilience is next level. She couldn’t train through Covid-19 and then our dad passed away and that hit the family massively. 

20-year-old Kaylee McKeown became Australia's latest gold medallist after storming home to win the 100m backstroke in Tokyo

20-year-old Kaylee McKeown became Australia's latest gold medallist after storming home to win the 100m backstroke in Tokyo

20-year-old Kaylee McKeown became Australia’s latest gold medallist after storming home to win the 100m backstroke in Tokyo

‘She got back in the pool and there was a fire it will under her bum. 

‘She’s come through, done all this amazing hard work and this is her reward now.’

Taylor believes their late dad pushed her sister to the the finish line in the dying stages.

‘We’ve always known he would lift her in the last five metres when it counts and hurts,’ she said.

‘If you watch the race gain, she’s fairly even coming under the flags and then finishes perfectly and gets there at the end.

‘It’s amazing to know she felt his presence in that race and knew he was there.’

Taylor doesn’t believe her sister’s victory will change the family dynamics.

‘Kaylee was dominant since she was out the womb,’ she said.

‘She’s been Miss Bossy from day one. I think her and mum are quite fiery and I take after dad, more placid, she stomps all over me.’

McKeown dedicated the win to her late father who died of brain cancer in August last year

McKeown dedicated the win to her late father who died of brain cancer in August last year

McKeown dedicated the win to her late father who died of brain cancer in August last year

Canada’s Kylie Masse held a strong lead heading into the 50m turn and was 0.19 seconds ahead of McKeown’s world record time but could not sustain that pace and the young Aussie stormed home to take gold. 

‘F*ck yeah!’ McKeown said to Channel 7’s poolside reporter after the race, throwing up a shaka in true Aussie fashion.  

Her father Sholto passed away after a battle with brain cancer in August last year, with McKeown getting a tattoo as tribute saying ‘I’ll always be with you’ on her foot. 

‘I hope you’re proud, and I’ll keep doing you proud,’ she said after the win. 

Kaylee’s father was diagnosed with grade-four glioblastoma in June of 2018, undergoing round after round of chemotherapy hoping to see his daughters grow up and perhaps win an Olympic gold. 

‘I use it every day that I wake up,’ McKeown said of her dad last month. ‘I know it’s a privilege to be on this earth and walk and talk.’ 

Had the Games been held as originally scheduled this time last year, Sholto would have had the chance to witness Tuesday’s golden moment, but the Covid pandemic delayed the event and he sadly passed away aged 53 in August. 



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