< back
Mack HORTON
Sport Swimming
NOC Australia   
GenderMen
Born25 Apr 1996 in Melbourne, AUS
Height1.90 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Family
Partner Ella Walter
Residence
Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Occupation
Athlete, Public Speaker
Languages
English
Higher education
Business, Commerce - La Trobe University: Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up the sport at age 10.
Why this sport?
He began swimming to overcome his fear of water.
Club / Team
Melbourne Vicentre: Australia
Name of coach
Craig Jackson [club], RSA
General Interest
Nicknames
The Knife (swimvortex.com, 10 Apr 2015)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the 400m freestyle at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (gc2018.com, 01 Oct 2017)
Most influential person in career
His family, and coach Craig Jackson. (gc2018.com, 01 Oct 2017)
Hero / Idol
Australian swimmer Grant Hackett. (vis.org.au, 09 Apr 2014)
Injuries
He caught a virus caused by a parasitic bug at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russian Federation, which affected his performances at the tournament. He was still able to win a bronze medal in the 800m freestyle. (swimswam.com, 05 Feb 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I focus on being the best swimmer that I can be, and at the end of the day, it's really me versus myself. As with every other athlete - it's all a head game." (thewest.com.au, 14 Apr 2021)
Awards and honours
In June 2018 he was presented with the Nicole Livingstone trophy as the 2017/18 Victorian Swimmer of the Year by Swimming Victoria in Australia. He also won the John Marshall trophy for his freestyle performances during the season. (swimswam.com, 19 Jun 2018; vic.swimming.org.au, 19 Jun 2018)

In 2014 he was named Discovery of the Year by Swimming Australia. (swimswam.com, 23 Dec 2014)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (seattletimes.com, 12 May 2021)
Other information
EVENT FOCUS
He began to shift his focus away from the 1500m freestyle after the 800m freestyle was added to the Olympic programme for the 2020 Games in Tokyo. In 2018 he said the inclusion of the 800m freestyle led to him reconsidering which events to aim for in Tokyo. "I think you know what's happening to the 1500m. It's on its way out. With the 800m being added into the Olympic programme I was either going to have to go 200m, 400m and 800m or 400m, 800m and 1500m. It's looking like 200m, 400m and 800m. I did a personal best in the 200m without actually training for it. I think we're heading that direction. I don't think many people know how to swim an 800m. It's not quite the 1500m settled rhythm, I think it's probably closer to a 400m sprint where you just have to hold on." (smh.com.au, 24 Oct 2018, 11 Apr 2018)

LIFE AFTER SPORT
In 2021 he said it is unlikely that he will stay in the sports industry once he retires as an athlete, except as a mentor to younger swimmers. "Once I'm done with sport, I'm done with sport. Of course, I'd like to be there to mentor younger athletes and help them through, but I think, probably, because I've just spent so much time and so much energy in this world, once I'm done with that world, I want to be done. But it could change when you actually step away from that." (abc.net.au, 13 May 2021)

PODIUM PROTEST
After winning silver in the 400m freestyle at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, he refused to stand on the podium alongside the event's winner, Chinese swimmer Sun Yang. At the time of the event Sun was awaiting a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] over a possible anti-doping violation. Horton was sent a warning letter by the International Swimming Federation [FINA] after the incident. (apnews.com, 13 May 2021)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
He has done public speaking roles for sports promotion projects such as 'Olympics Unleashed', which is managed by the Australian Olympic Committee, and also supports water safety campaigns in Australia such as the Keep Watch pool safety campaign. He has also worked as an analyst at Commonwealth Bank in Australia. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Apr 2021; Twitter profile, 25 Nov 2020; optus.com.au, 25 Nov 2020; racv.com.au, 09 Dec 2020)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
3 2021 Tokyo, JPN 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:01.84
1 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 400m Freestyle 3:41.55
5 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 1500m Freestyle 14:49.54
4 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:04.18
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 800m Freestyle 7:52.65
2 2019 Gwangju, KOR 400m Freestyle 3:43.17
1 2019 Gwangju, KOR 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:00.85
Semifinal 2017 Budapest, HUN 200m Freestyle 1:46.81
3 2017 Budapest, HUN 1500m Freestyle 14:47.70
Heats 2017 Budapest, HUN 800m Freestyle  DNS
2 2017 Budapest, HUN 400m Freestyle 3:43.85
4 2017 Budapest, HUN 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay 7:05.98
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 1500m Freestyle 15:00.51
3 2015 Kazan, RUS 800m Freestyle 7:44.02
Heats 2015 Kazan, RUS 400m Freestyle 3:47.37
World Cup
Rank Year Venue Event Result
12 2018   Overall Ranking  
1 2018 Budapest, HUN 400m Freestyle 3:41.78
1 2018 Budapest, HUN 1500m Freestyle 14:39.84
6 2018 Budapest, HUN 200m Freestyle 1:44.27
1 2018 Eindhoven, NED 400m Freestyle 3:39.52
3 2018 Eindhoven, NED 200m Freestyle 1:43.63
1 2018 Singapore, SGP 400m Freestyle 3:41.44
1 2018 Singapore, SGP 1500m Freestyle 14:44.22
1 2018 Tokyo, JPN 400m Freestyle 3:40.58
7 2018 Tokyo, JPN 200m Freestyle 1:47.43