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Linda Mackenzie OAM.

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Olympic Gold medallist Linda Mackenzie was born in Mackay in 1983, starting her swim career as a six-year-old under the guidance of Mackay coach Pat Wright at the Memorial Pool. She later left Mackay to train with Redcliffe coach Ken Wood in Redcliffe and went to school at Southern Cross College in Scarborough and swam for the Redcliffe Leagues Swimming Club.

Linda was an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder.

As an Australian freestyle swimmer, she preferred the longer 200, 400, and 800 metre events and won the Australian 400-metre national title five years in a row (2004–2008).

In 2004 she was selected in the Australian team for her first Olympic Games and placed 7th in the 400m freestyle Olympic Final in 4:10.92. Linda was also part of the Australian 4x200m freestyle relay team that placed 4th in the Olympic Final.

At the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, she was part of the Australian team that won the gold medal in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay at the and has picked up silver medals in the same event at the 2003 and 2005 world championships. Mackenzie qualified for the 200 metre and 400 metre freestyle events at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and was a member of the winning Australian team in the women's 4×200-metre freestyle relay. She was the last swimmer in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Together with Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt and Kylie Palmer the world record was broken by 5.78 seconds. The result was still seen as somewhat of a surprise, with the highly fancied Americans finishing third behind Australia and China. The winning time of 7:44.31 shattered the old world record, held by the United States, by almost six seconds. The first four teams, with Italy in fourth place, swam inside the pre-race world record. For Mackenzie swimming the final leg for gold was the perfect way to end her career.

Linda was awarded an Order Of Australia Medal (OAM) on the 26th January 2009, for her services to swimming, as a Gold Medallist at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

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