Mollie O'Callaghan

Mollie O'Callaghan

Watch the full video

Meet Mollie

Signet is sitting poolside waiting for young Aussie swimmer, Mollie O’Callaghan, to stop doing laps and come up for air. With a bag of her favourite Sour Patch Kids in hand, we entice her to take a break from her gruelling training regime to chat about the pressures of success, the importance of mental resilience and exactly how she beat the longest-standing women's record in swimming.

In the water, she's a relentless force of nature, a record-breaking champion who defies expectations and debilitating injury. Yet, out of the water, Mollie O'Callaghan is a talkative, fun-loving Aussie teen with a sweet tooth for Sour Patch Kids. The contrast of this 19 year old Australian swimmer is nothing short of extraordinary – she is both an unassuming and grounded teenager, coexisting with one of the world’s most competitive and fierce athletes.

At the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, Mollie smashed four world records just three weeks after dislocating her knee. Now that she is fully recovered, there are high hopes for her next performance.

“I guess there’s a new sense of pressure on me after that. Everyone expects me to do it again or do better. Especially after racing with an injury last time. They're like, “well, what can you do when you’re not injured?”

"I didn’t expect to win let alone break a world record."

While the young Aussie’s achievements might seem out of the blue for someone her age, they’re the well-earned result of Mollie's dedication, the support of her family and her rigorous training schedule. “I’m always in the pool or look like I’ve been in the pool...a bit like a drowned rat. A lot of us swimmers don't have anything outside of swimming. Swimming is our world,” explains Mollie.

Her physical training routine consists of an exhausting nine pool sessions per week, accompanied by gym workouts, bike sessions, core exercises, and Pilates. “I'm not going to lie; I think it's one of the toughest sports to be in."

While physical training is fundamental to any sport, Mollie believes mental resilience is also crucial with the younger swimmers. “There's ups and downs for everyone during their career. Sometimes, it's quite hard to stay in a positive mindset. I need a big support team to guide and train me through those times.”

"You've got to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Once you get past that, then you're quite free to swim."

Mollie’s team help her to be both physically and mentally ready to push and reach her best times in the pool. “You've got to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Once you get past that, then you're quite free to swim. I’ve spent endless hours pushing my mind so that when I’m in the water, not able to breathe, I can get through it and drive myself to keep going.”

Mollie candidly shared experiences of her body cramping up during training, pushing her to the brink. "It comes from hard training and hard racing. It starts either lower or higher in my abdomen and it kind of compresses everything. Then my breath shortens, I start to shake, I feel nauseous, and I can't move," she revealed. These moments, she believes, are part of training and help to shape her as a competitive swimmer.

In July 2023, Mollie gained global recognition when she broke the longest-standing world record in women’s swimming for the 200m freestyle. It hadn’t been beaten for 14 years and she did it just three weeks after dislocating her knee. “The normal recovery for that type of injury is six weeks. It was probably one of the scariest moments in my swimming career and my life. I didn’t expect to win let alone break a record. I was a wreck, and it took a long time to compose myself afterwards. I was crying because I was just so proud of myself. It was completely unexpected,” Mollie revealed. Her finish time was 1:52.85, which wiped out the previous world record of 1:52.98 set by Italy’s Federica Pelligrini. The previous record was also achieved wearing the now banned and slightly unfair LZR racer suit in 2009.

As she looks ahead, Mollie remains focused on her goals, both short-term and long-term. "Next year, I think my biggest step is going to be making the Australian team and being a part of the women's side. Especially in the 100m and 200m freestyles. It's really hard to make the Australian international swimming team. I think that's the biggest hurdle that I've got to get over. Gold would be the cherry on top <laughs>."

“Swimming is my life and my job. Having sponsors like Signet means that I can focus on the parts of it that I love, and I really appreciate that. You guys even brought me some Sour Patch Kids, I’m feeling the love.”

We’re proud to support Mollie O'Callaghan as a member of Team Signet. Join us as we get behind her, the rest of the team, and over 60,000 Aussie businesses all chasing their own dreams.

Full Length 1:08

Team Signet