Butterfly sensation Maddie Groves.
Butterfly sensation Maddie Groves. Al Bello

Olympic star's dad was Gympie High captain

Butterfly Olympic star Maddie Groves with swimming colleagues

AUSTRALIAN Olympic swim sensation Madeline Groves, 21, who won silver in the 200m butterfly today, has a strong connection to Gympie.

Maddie's father Greg Groves and his siblings grew up at Cedar Pocket, attending Gympie East State School and then Gympie High, where he was school captain in 1980 (he was in the same senior class as Gympie doctor and councillor Daryl Dodt).


OLD SCHOOL YARD: The Senior Year photo of Greg Groves (back row centre) at Gympie State High.

Madeline grew up in Brisbane and was the Australian national champion in the 200m butterfly event in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

She put in a sensational personal best performance of 2:04.88 seconds to win silver in Rio today, missing out on the gold by a gut wrenching 0.03 seconds.

Greg told The Gympie Times earlier today that he spent the later years of his school at Gympie High (1976-80) raising money for the school pool.

"But I never got to swim in it," he said.

"Perhaps I should go back there and do my first 200m fly. Something to put on my bucket list."


Proud dad Greg Groves.

rio2016.olympics.com reported that Maddie was under world record pace at the 50m and was comfortably in the lead at halfway before eventual winner Mireia Garcia Belmote of Spain staked her claim on the third lap and a sensational turn had her clear with 40m to swim.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games Maddie was a bronze medallist in the 200m butterfly event, and swam in the heats for the gold medal-winning Australian freestyle relay team.

She was selected to represent Australia in the 100m and 200m butterfly, and 4 x 200 m freestyle relay events at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.