Daniel Kowalski

Champion swimmer.


Daniel Kowalski is an Olympic Champion who, at Atlanta 1996, became the first swimmer since 1904 to win a medal in the 200, 400 and 1500 metres freestyle events at the same Olympic Games.

Current work
Currently he is the General Manager of the Australian Swimmers’ Association, the representative body and point of contact for national level swimmers in Australia.

He’s one of Australia’s finest champion swimmers who’s ability to overcome adversity and produce extraordinary performances is nothing short of remarkable. An engaging and remarkable speaker, Daniel always leaves audiences feeling inspired.

Swimming Achievements:

He finished second in the 1500 metres, in Barcelona 1992 and in the 200 and 400 metres he finished third, both times behind the gold medals of Danyon Loader of New Zealand.

By winning the 4 x 200 metres relay at the 1998 world championships, Kowalski, Klim, Hackett and Ian Thorpe put Australia on top of the world rankings in the event for the first time since 1956. At Sydney 2000, Kowalski and Hackett picked up gold medals for their heat swims when Thorpe, Klim, Todd Pearson and William Kirby won the final in the 4 x 200 metres relay.

Despite the challenges that injury and illness have place in Kowalski’s path, his career has seen him collect several medals and records, in individual and relay events, at world championships, Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacs from 1993 until 2000.

In 2000, he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to sport, while also serving as an Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Retiring from swimming in 2002, Daniel also chose beyondblue as his charity while performing on singing show It Takes Two with Kate Ceberano in 2007. As an ambassador for Beyond Blue, he is a passionate advocate for more conversations surrounding depression and what we can do it help those struggling with it. Daniel is also an advocate for gender diversity and equality.


Talking Points
Olympic Anecdotes
Stories from the Pool Side
The Discipline Factor: How to Work Towards Success