Elka Whalan

Dual Olympian freestyle champion

Dual Olympian Elka Whalan spent almost seven years at the top of Australian swimming achieving both Australian and Commonwealth records. In 2001 she recorded the world’s fastest swim for the 200m Freestyle and was officially ranked Number One in the world. In 2003 she won gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m at the World Championships – the only woman ever to do so.

Following her retirement from competitive swimming, Elka established a successful career in journalism and the media. A great on-camera talent, Elka covered the London 2012 Olympic Games for Fox Sports. She also commentated for ESPN. She is a regular Jury member on The Morning Show and has appeared on high-rating shows like Dancing with the Stars, Can of Worms, Deal Or No Deal, The Panel, Between The Lines and Pyramid.

Elka Whalan is confident, humorous and animated and in high demand as a keynote speaker and MC. She has hosted or presented to many Australian corporations including Energy Australia, Macquarie Bank, Coles, Woolworth’s and Uncle Toby’s.

She has also spoken at primary schools, high schools and tertiary institutions nationwide, sports awards nights, high-profile charity fundraisers (where she’s often been the MC) and even directly to politicians in Canberra. Her engaging, motivational message is relevant to people of all ages and all walks of life.

Elka is currently the ambassador for Allianz Life and she has also worked with Swisse Vitamins, Heinz Simply, ProjectABLE and Little Takas. She was the youngest board member on the Australia Day Council of NSW (2009-2011) and has been a McHappy Day Ambassador for the past 4 years.

Elka has modelled in many magazines including Marie Claire, Cleo, FHM and Alpha and was the face of the AGC Spring Racing Carnival in 2004.

Elka has also written for magazines and newspapers including Marie Claire, New Idea and the Sun Herald.

More about Elka Whalan:

Elka was at the top of Australian swimming for almost seven years. A dual Olympian, she won Olympic silver in the 4 x 200m Freestyle relay in Athens 2004 and has come home with medals from World Championships, Commonwealth Games, the World Cup (Gold) and Pan Pacific championships. Elka has achieved both Australian and Commonwealth records including the Australian 400m Freestyle short course record, which she held for over five years. In 2001 she recorded the world’s fastest swim for the 200m Freestyle and was officially ranked Number One in the world. Between 2001 and 2004 she was consistently in the Top Three in the world for both the 200m and 400m Freestyle.

In 2003, Elka spent a month in hospital after being diagnosed with a worrying heart condition. Yet her positive mindset saw her win Gold in the 200m, 400m and 800m at the World Cup just a month after her release from hospital, marginally missing world record times.

Elka ended her swimming career with no less than 10 Australian Championship Gold medals (both long and short course). She came home with a medal from every meet in which she ever competed apart from Athens (when she finished 4th in the 4 x 200m relay).

Elka is a passionate supporter of charity groups and has worked extensively to raise awareness of and funds for the Heart Foundation, Nelune Foundation and Ronald McDonald House. She is an Ambassador for the online sport community DoubleDrummer.com, a group which is supporting her endeavour to establish a ‘swim for safety’ program in Papua New Guinea through Australian Volunteers International.

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