Passages: Sholto’s Fierce Fighting Spirit Lives On As McKeown Sisters Honour Their Late Father

Sholto McKeown group shot
SURROUNDED BY SUPPORT Sholto McKeown surrounded by family and friends (L-R) Olympian Jake Packard, wife Sharon McKeown, daughter Olympian Taylor McKeown, Olympian Tessa Wallace and popular Australian singer songwriter Ellen Reed. Photo Peter Wallis (Sunshine Coast Daily).

Passages: Sholto’s Fierce Fighting Spirit Lives On As McKeown Sisters Honour Their Late Father

No matter where Australia’s swimming sister act, Taylor and Kaylee McKeown swim next they will carry with them the inspiration and fighting spirit of their greatest fan – their Dad, Sholto who sadly lost his fiercely fought two-year battle with brain cancer on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast yesterday.


FUN AND GAMES: Sholto McKeown always the life of the party. Photo Courtesy: McKeown Family Collection.

Sholto Tyrone McKeown was 53 years young and passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning with wife Sharon and his two girls by his bedside as they remembered the main man in their lives.

Rio Olympic breaststroke finalist, Taylor paid tribute saying….”I am relieved he is no longer suffering..finally in and words cannot ever come close to describing how incredible my dad was…he did everything for us girls…”

And younger sister, last year’s World Championship backstroke silver medallist Kaylee wrote “Dad was taken from us too soon by something so cruel…but the love, the memories and the laughter will forever be cherished in our hearts….

“He was so unbelieveably strong and wanted to defy the odds that were stacked against him, with no time to waste we buckled up for a hell of a journey and held each other’s hands every step of the way… the heavens above have gained another beautiful angel to watch over us.”

Kaylee and Taylor McKeown 2

SHOLTO’S GOLDEN GIRLS: Kaylee and Taylor McKeown. Photo Courtesy: Sunshine Coast Daily.

Sholto had a dream of seeing his two girls compete in the now postponed Tokyo Olympics, fighting the good fight until just days after the scheduled 2020 Closing Ceremony.

After suffering a severe headache, Sholto McKeown, 52, was told by doctors he had a glioblastoma – with a life expectancy of two years – and in June 2018 before being rushed in for emergency brain surgery to remove a majority of a tumour, undergoing radiation and chemotherapy in the months that followed.

While the family were “shattered” by the shock news, they banded together determined to beat the rare and aggressive form of cancer.

“We try to make life as normal as we can – I don’t like talking about it and I don’t like dwelling on it,” Sholto told the Sunshine Coast Daily at the time.

“We’re all in the ring beating this together and I have got great hopes to beat it.

“It’s not the end of your life, life carries on and cancer can be part of that journey.

“I would love to see my daughters race in the Tokyo Olympics – there in the back of my mind is a goal to get to.”

Taylor said her dad’s adventurous and determined spirit would drive her to achieve her life dreams.

Taylor and Sholto

FATHER AND DAUGHTER: Sholto McKeown with Olympian daughter Taylor. Photo Courtesy: McKeown Family Collection.

“I was so thankful that dad was there to support me from the grandstands during multiple Commonwealth Games, Olympics, World and Australian Championships and many other swim comps….He was incredibly proud of Kaylee and I, always showing off his golden girls to his friends and family…He will always be remembered as the life of so many camping trips, parties and life in general,” said Taylor.

The Australian swimming community banded together to support the McKeown family over the past two years and messages of love and support have flooded in over the past 24 hours.

From family, friends and team mates in a collective group hug that will go a long way to helping the family cope with life without their main man, whose spirit will so proudly live on in his two girls.

Rest In Peace Sholto Tyrone McKeown (06/12/66 – 13/08/20).

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