Madeline Groves made her Olympic debut in superb style at the Rio 2016 Olympics, taking home silver in the 200m butterfly.
Coached by Michael Bohl at St Peter’s Western, Groves faced one of the toughest races on the program. She set a new personal best time of 2:04.88 and was just 0.03 of a second off the gold medal winning time of Mireia Belmonte from Spain (2:04.85).
After leading for the first 150 metres Groves was faced with one of the toughest laps of her life as eventual gold medallist Belmonte and bronze medallist Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi (2:05.20) came hot on her heels.
With the three going stroke for stroke to the wall Groves put her head down and gave it her all to get her hand on the wall in second place.
She took a year off the sport in 2011 but returned after she finished high school. Since then she has stepped onto the podium at the Commonwealth Games, with a bronze at Glasgow 2014 in the 200m butterfly.
In 2014 she suffered from debilitating and mysterious shoulder and neck pain, which was later identified as pain from clenched jaw which she’s worked to fix with an orthodontist.