Whether it’s the pressure-cooker environment of school exams in the age of NAPLAN, or the unique peer-group challenges of growing up surrounded by social media, there’s plenty of talk about the growing stress felt by a generation of young Australians as they navigate study, friendships and career plans. But the pressure on Cate and Bronte Campbell as they took to the pool at the Rio Olympics last August was in a league of its own – made all the more intense when Cate’s disappointing performance in the women’s 100m freestyle final was self-described as “possibly the greatest choke in Olympic history”. Half a year later, Cate opens up for the first time about what went wrong that fateful day, and reveals how a wellmeaning text message paralysed her with the realisation that she was carrying a nation’s hopes on her young shoulders. “What I have learnt is that failure isn’t necessarily something we should be ashamed of,” Cate tells Stellar. “It shows we have the courage to go and dare in the first place.” Wise words that will hopefully resonate with other young Australians still learning that, win or not, it is not having a go at all that is the real failure.