Nicole Livingstone: Giant Steps

by Anna Pavlou


As a young girl, Nicole Livingstone dreamed to represent Australia in Olympic swimming.


At the age of 18, she found herself competing in the 1988 Olympics.


In the following years, she would go on to win a silver and two bronze medals swimming at the Olympics for her country. She would also win six gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.


After her retirement, she would take off in the sports media world, where she would host numerous sporting programs and become the face of multiple iconic sporting events.


A determined success at every challenge she accepted.


This is the foundation of Nicole Livingstone and what she is made of.


Born on the 24th of June, 1971, Nicole Dawn Livingstone knew from day one that swimming was her calling.


In her teenage years, Livingstone received an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship, which gave her the opportunity refine her considerable sporting ability and launch her international career.


At the age of 18, she was already well on her way to her first Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.


Livingstone was one of Australia’s greatest ever backstrokers. She won ten consecutive National 100m backstroke titles between 1987 and 1996, holding the longest winning sequence of any Australian swimmer in national titles.


Her competitive edge, spirit and hunger to succeed won her six gold, two silver and one bronze medal from three Commonwealth Games, as well as four gold, two silver and one bronze in six Pan Pacific Championships.


She also broke the world 200m backstroke record in 1992.


In 1997, Livingstone was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her service to swimming as a representative at state, national and international levels.


The drive and ambition she showed as a competitive, world class athlete combined with the respect and credibility she had built as a leader was to take her to new heights with her next pursuits.


Livingstone was ready to take her next giant step.


Upon retirement from swimming in 1996, she began her career in the media, covering all sports across multiple mediums, the main one being television.


Livingstone launched what has become an outstanding media career when she joined the Nine Network, hosting Wide World of Sports and Sports Saturday, before commentating the Commonwealth Games and the Surf Life Saving coverage.


In 2006, she worked alongside comedian Mick Molloy on ‘Any Given Sunday’, the weekly sports program that aired on the Nine Network.


By 2008, Livingstone was back co-hosting the restored ‘Wide World of Sports’ with Ken Sutcliffe.


In 2009, she joined Network Ten to commentate and host their Surf Life Saving and swimming broadcasts, where she consistently showed her knowledge and love of water sports.


She became a fill-in presenter on Network Ten’s ‘Sports Tonight’ and a panelist on ‘Thursday Night Live’ over 2010 and 2011.


In 2012 at the London Olympic Games, Livingstone and Bruce McAvaney were swimming commentators for the International Olympic Committee’s English language international feed.


This year, Livingstone began hosting ‘Sideliners’, ABC’s weekly sports comedy show.


She is currently on SEN 1116 radio, at Network Ten as a presenter, as well as Carrie Bickmore’s fill-in on ‘The Project’.


And it doesn’t stop there. Livingstone has made a name for herself in the business world too, as Deputy Chair of VicHealth and an Australian Sport Hall of Fame board member. Furthermore, she is a member of the Executive of the Australian Olympic Committee as well as a Director of Swimming Australia.


In 2018, Livingstone will be Deputy Chef de Mission of the Australian Youth Olympic Team, as well as continue her Director role at the Victorian Institute of Sport.


It is through these leadership positions that Livingstone has truly flourished, using her wisdom and experience to guide others in not only their sporting pursuits, but their business goals too.


She’s been a leader since day one. Always taking charge from the front, taking calculated risks and consistently proving herself in every challenge and every sport on and off the field.


Even more than this, she is one to constantly step out of her comfort zone, proving that she can take on any role, any competition or any challenge. As proved through her years of hard training that led her to success on the field, the tireless efforts that helped her build an empire off the field, taking giant steps is just the Nicole Livingstone way.


With her appointment as the head of Women’s Football, it’s another chance to step out of her comfort zone and adapt to a new duty and create a legacy for all women across sport and life, for that matter.


AFLW has taken off over the past 12 months and is poised to grow massively both in participation and support. With the amount of dollars the AFL and its sponsors are pouring into the game, the microscope is fixed firmly on the game and the game’s leaders.


Nicole Livingstone is not one to sit back and watch things happen. She has a record of being a “doer”, taking change and getting things done.


The landscape of women’s sport is changing in Australia, and who better to lead the charge than someone who has led from the front all her life.




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About Anna Pavlou

Anna 'Pav' Pavlou is a current student and a born and bred Melburnian who has a passion for sport and sharing people's stories. She is an intern journalist for AFL VICTORIA and writes for The Roar, the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA Media), the Mongrel Punt and is a Melbourne Cricket Club contributor. She also appears on North West FM 98.9 radio show. Most winter weekends you'll find her down at the Ross Gregory Oval in St Kilda, supporting Power House FC, who play in Division 2 in the VAFA. She works as the Division 2 writer for the VAFA. She completed work experience with 3AW Radio and has been published in The Age as well as with Carlton FC and Geelong Cats. Check out her website below for more sport pieces!

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