Gold Medalist Madi Wilson Announces Pregnancy; Will Miss Paris Games but Not Retiring

Madi Wilson (photo: Mike Lewis)
Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis/ISL

Gold Medalist Madi Wilson Announces Pregnancy; Will Miss Paris Games but Not Retiring

Australian Olympic gold medalist Madi Wilson late last week announced she is expecting a child, but she’s not calling time on her swim career.

Wilson and her fiancé, professional cricketer Matt Short, made the announcement last week. It means Wilson won’t pursue a third Olympic Games in Paris this summer. But she’s not ready to leave the sport behind.

“I’m definitely not retired,” Wilson told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I am returning to the pool in October. There are still things I need to do in the pool. I feel like I need to finish the way I want to finish, whether that be at a World Cup or another world championship.”


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Wilson, 29, has four relay medals, won at the last two Olympics. She won gold for swimming in prelims of the 400 free relay at the Rio and Tokyo Games. She finished eighth in the final of the 100 free at the 2016 Olympics, and the Aussies’ sprint depth on the women’s side is unmatched at the moment.

Wilson is the owner of 17 career Worlds medals, with eight gold medals in relays, including three at last summer’s World Championships in Fukuoka (all for prelims). Her best Worlds individual performance came in 2015 when she won silver in the 100 back. Her esteem in the Dolphins’ ranks was reflected by her being awarded the “Swimmers’ Swimmer of the Year Award” at Swimming Australia’s annual awards in 2023.

Wilson has surmounted a plethora of health issues in the recent past. The was hospitalized for COVID-19 during the International Swimming League season in 2021. In February 2023, she underwent surgery to remove benign tumors. She and Short found out unexpectedly that they were expecting in the fall, but that ended in a miscarriage. Wilson had planned to swim through to the Doha World Championships before the pregnancy loss changed that.

“Everything happens for a reason. It’s a hard one,” Wilson said. “Swimming becomes your identity when you give so much of yourself for such a long period of time. Another side of my identity has been really pushing women’s health and inspiring the younger girls to live a healthier lifestyle.

“It sits really OK with me. I probably was going through a bit of a loss of identity. I felt like a bit of a failure. My body wasn’t able to do what a woman’s body is supposed to do and I wasn’t able to swim because I couldn’t mentally put myself through it.”

Short, 28, is a professional cricketer in Australia. He made his debut for Australia in T-20 cricket in August 2023, then his one-day international debut in September. He was part of the squad this month to play the West Indies before withdrawing with an injury.

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