Joy for Aussie swimming legend Daniel Kowalski as the Olympic gold medallist announces his engagement – and a who’s who of sport including Cody Simpson rush to celebrate with the happy couple
- Daniel Kowalski has announced his engagement to partner Chris Thistlethwaite
- Swimming stars such as Cody Simpson and Cate Campbell congratulated them
- Kowalski is a four-time Olympic medallist, and won gold at the 2000 Games
Aussie Olympic legend Daniel Kowalski has announced his engagement to long-term partner Chris Thistlethwaite, and a who’s who of sport, including Cody Simpson and Michael Klim, rushed to congratulate the happy couple on their news.
The gold medallist came out as gay in 2010, and gushed about his partner when posting about the engagement on Instagram.
‘Grateful for the opportunity to get married but never ever thought I would.. until I met you. Thanks for saying YES! I can’t wait to continue the journey with you…thank you for being you. Love ya man,’ he wrote about Thistlethwaite.
Daniel Kowalski (R) and Chris Thistlethwaite (L) announced their engagement on Instagram
Daniel Kowalski celebrates winning bronze in the 200m freestyle at the 1996 Atlanta Games
Swimmers, Olympians and media friends were quick to show their support for the pair.
Pop star-turned-swimmer Cody Simpson wrote: ‘Congratulations Dan! Couldn’t be happier for you guys.’
Three-time gold medallist Cate Campbell was clearly overjoyed at the news, too.
‘Love, love LOVE this!! Congratulations! So happy for you,’ she commented, along with several crying emojis and love hearts.
Kowalski’s relay teammate Michael Klim and swimmer turned TV presenter Johanna Griggs also commented, along with fellow stars of the pool David McKeon, Tom Fraser-Holmes and Matt Abood.
Olmypians Lydia Lassila, Sami Kennedy-Sim, Keesja Gofetrs and Andrew Gaze along with well-known athletes Bianca Chatfield and Michelle Heyman and broadcasters Peter Hitchener and Chris Bath also shared the love on the post.
Cody Simpson (pictured) congratulated Daniel Kowalski on his engagement
Daniel Kowalski (L) and Chris Thistlethwaite (R) show their happiness at their engagement
Kowalski won relay gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and became the first swimmer since 1904 to win a medal in the 200, 400 and 1500-metre freestyle events at the same Games.
He famously lost to fellow Aussie Kieran Perkins over 1500m at the Atlanta OIympics despite going into the race as favourite, something he’s since said left him feeling like a ‘massive failure’.
Kowalski (right) with Ian Thorpe, Matthew Dunn and Michael Klim after winning gold and breaking the 200m freestyle relay world record at the 1998 Commonwealth Games
He revealed he also struggled with bulimia and depression after that famous race.
In an interview last year, he said there were two things he wish he could go back in time and do all over again.
‘I would tell myself that people aren’t going to love me any more if I win a gold medal at the Olympics. People are going to love me probably more if I’m true to myself and accept who I am as a gay man,’ he said in an interview with Yahoo.
Kowalski’s partner is Aircalin general manager Chris Thistlethwaite
The star swimmer now works as Olympian Services Manager for the Australian Olympic Committee, where he is primarily responsible for the athlete transition program.
Twistlethwaite is the general manager of Aircalin, which is the international airline of New Caledonia. His brother Matt is a long-time Labor MP, who is now Assistant Minister for Defence in Anthony Albanese’s government.