Nicola McDermott is an Olympic Games silver medallist, the Australian women’s high jump record holder (2.02m) and a NSWIS scholarship holder.
The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) athlete was first introduced to high jump at her local little athletics club on the Central Coast of New South Wales when she was seven years old. At age 11, she began working with coach Matt Horsnell who still coaches her to this day. Her personal bests increased year on year and in 2014 Nicola first represented Australia at the IAAF World Junior Championships where she finished 16th.
Nicola’s breakout season came in 2018 when she was selected for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, where she set a personal best of 1.91m to clinch the bronze medal – her first medal on an international stage.
After changing up her training she soared to new heights in 2019. In her first jump of the year she smashed her PB with a 1.94m leap in Canberra. Competing at the Golden Spike Ostrava she added another 2cm to her PB clearing 1.96m – a Tokyo Olympic qualifying height. Nicola then finished third with 1.94m at the Monaco Diamond League. Across the season she had placed in the top eight in five Diamond League meets.
In 2020, Nicola won the Brussels Diamond League, had top-three finishes at the Stockholm and Rome Diamond League meets and at Hochsprung-Meeting Nicola cleared 1.98m, placing her equal second on the Australian high jump rankings.
At the 2021 Australian Track & Field Championships, Nicola became the first-ever Australian female to jump 2 metres, becoming the Australian Champion and officially securing her qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Only 12 weeks later, the high jumper cleared 2.01m at the Bauhaus-Galan Stockholm Diamond League meeting, beating the Australian Record for a second time. However, the lead-up meets would prove to just be a warm-up for the Games where the best was yet to come.
After comfortably qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 women’s high jump final, Nicola would go on to break the Australian record for a third time, clearing 2.02m, to claim a historic silver medal. The NSWIS athlete became just the second Australian female to win an Olympic high jump medal, existing as the only medallist since 1964.