James Chance/Getty Images Emma McKeon
Emma McKeon has made Olympic history — and her entire home country of Australia proud.
The 27-year-old swimmer won seven gold medals during the Tokyo Olympics, making her the first female in the sport to ever do so in one Games.
McKeon won four gold medals in events including the women's 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay, and 4x100m medley relay. She took the bronze in the women's 100m butterfly and won third prize in two other relays: the 4x100m mixed medley relay and the 4x200m freestyle relay.
After her first individual gold Friday — the women's 100m freestyle — McKeon told reporters, "I've never won an Olympics or worlds (world championships) individual title. That's what the Olympics is all about, to be able to stand on top of that podium."
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Reflecting on her total medal haul — and the four she won in 2016 in Rio — during Sunday's press conference, she said that her success obviously means a lot to her while praising her team. "They put in just as much hard work as I have. I just look forward to celebrating a little bit with them," she said.
Continued McKeon, "It is overwhelming. Knowing how much hard work we have put into this."
The decorated athlete also told reporters that it was "pretty special" to know that fans and loved ones back home were watching on TV and cheering along as she pursued titles.
"That is pretty special," the Australian star said. "I grew up watching the swimming and watching amazing athletes doing amazing things and wanted to do a similar thing. I was literally the same kid as these children are, and now I am here, so that is pretty surreal."
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.