It’s happy birth­day today to Aus­tralian swim­mer Me­lanie Wright (1986 - ). Two-time Olympic swim­mer Me­lanie Wright,

Shepparton News - - VIEWPOINT -

bet­ter known un­der her maiden sur­name Sh­langer, is best re­mem­bered for an­chor­ing Aus­tralia’s gold medal­win­ning 4 x 100 m freestyle re­lay team at the 2012 Lon­don Games. Born on Queens­land’s Sun­shine Coast, Wright made her first Aus­tralian team at age 20, win­ning three bronze medals at the 2006 Pan Pa­cific Cham­pi­onships in Canada. She then won gold at the 2007 World Cham­pi­onships in the 4 x 100 m re­lay, and later that year helped break the world record in the same event. In 2009, a glan­du­lar fever-like ill­ness, Cy­tomegalovirus, forced her out of the Aus­tralian tri­als and even­tu­ally into early re­tire­ment. Ten months into re­tire­ment, Wright made a splash by re­turn­ing to the pool in 2011. The fol­low­ing year, she won gold in the 4 x 100 m freestyle re­lay with team­mates Ali­cia Coutts, Cate Camp­bell and Brit­tany Elm­slie at the Lon­don Olympic Games. In 2013, a stress frac­ture in one of Wright’s ribs forced her to with­draw from the Aus­tralian Dol­phins team a few weeks be­fore the World Cham­pi­onships. Fol­low­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, the same in­jury re­curred in 2014 but she re­cov­ered to qual­ify for the Glas­gow Com­mon­wealth Games as the Aus­tralian women’ s4x100m re­lay team and again stood atop the podium. She mar­ried fel­low Aus­tralian Olympic swim­mer Chris Wright in Septem­ber 2014. Af­ter fail­ing to make the Rio Olympics, Wright of­fi­cially re­tired from elite swim­ming to start med­i­cal school at Bond Univer­sity. In Fe­bru­ary this year, she gave birth to the cou­ple’s first child, a baby girl called Madi­son.

Me­lanie Wright

AAP Im­age/Dave Hunt

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