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