"3% of a nation ever make a national team and 0.8% ever get to stand on the dais. Those stats were a major confirmation for me knowing the Olympics was what I wanted in 2000, regardless of missing out on school formals, not staying out too late or forgetting about indulging in the normal experiments of drinking and boys, whilst others took the path often chosen, I chose the harder route, and what I learnt was that sometimes the right thing to do is often the toughest."

Following her stellar swimming career dual Olympian Elka has successfully transitioned to a media career both on TV and radio. She also covered the London 2012 Olympics for Fox Sports.

Elka received medals at every international swim meet from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2004 Athens Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Pan Pacific's and the World Cup up until she announced her retirement at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. In her swimming career Elka set both Australian and Commonwealth records and received dais medal status in all events.

In 2001 she recorded the fastest swim in the 200m Freestyle and became number one in the world. 2001-2004 saw her top 3 in the world for both the 200m and 400m freestyle. In 2003 she won gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m at the World Championships, no other woman has achieved this feat.

A big supporter of the Heart Foundation, Elka?s passion lies in dedicating her time to those in need. Elka is energetic, vivacious and articulate, with an infectious smile and great sense of humour.

Elka sees life as a challenge, she thrives on pressure and uses her enthusiasm to turn any situation into a positive. With maturity and experience beyond her years, Elka Whalan is an asset to Australian sport and an inspirational role model for all people.

Elka is a highly sought after speaker and has completed over 500 speaking engagements throughout her career. She loves hosting and emceeing and has received great feedback from many of her engagements. Elka can speak on a variety of subjects and is an excellent host.

"Every morning I wake to know that there are 86,400 seconds in every single day and if I ever feel short changed I know that everyone else has the exact same of amount of seconds in their day as I do. Two questions I always ask in my seminars, are "Do you know who you are?" and "Where do you want to go?" More often than not many people know what they want or where they are going but struggle with identifying themselves.

 

Testimonials

Elka combined youthful enthusiasm with wise words of advice about setting goals and going for them with determination. She really added an inspiring dimension to our Duke of Edinburgh's Award presentation evening. The girls and their parents spoke so positively about Elka's honest and humorous delivery as she told us about her life journey so far. She related so easily to the girls at their age and stage and I am sure that many will be influenced to strive for bigger and better goals than they could have imagined beforehand.
- Pymble Girls Private High school

With your charismatic stage presence you delighted the crowd with a down to earth and engaging speech on life and the dedication it took for you to be successful in accomplishing your goals in swimming. From comments I received over the weekend it would be safe to say for many delegates you were not only the hit of the night but of the whole State Conference. Any organisation who would wish to have a delightful speaker, full of knowledge of lessons learned with tremendously funny anecdotally stories could not do better than Elka Graham. We were more than suitable impressed so please accept our congratulations and thanks for a job well done.
- NSW Touch Football

Elka's deliverance is hilarious, she is real, individual and so honest. Her aura and "zest" for life is truly remarkable. Whether for team building, businessmen, or motivation, Elka encapsulates it all with the right mix of experience, wisdom beyond her years and a great message. One of the best speakers I have heard in years.
- MD Energy Australia

With your charismatic stage presence you delighted the crowd with a down to earth and engaging speech on life and the dedication it took for you to be successful in accomplishing your goals in swimming. From comments I received over the weekend it would be safe to say for many delegates you were not only the hit of the night but of the whole State Conference. Any organisation who would wish to have a delightful speaker, full of knowledge of lessons learned with tremendously funny anecdotally stories could not do better than Elka Graham. We were more than suitable impressed so please accept our congratulations and thanks for a job well done
- NSW Touch Football

Elka’s deliverance is hilarious, she is real, individual and so honest. Her aura and “zest” for life is truly remarkable. Whether for team building, businessmen, or motivation, Elka encapsulates it all with the right mix of experience, wisdom beyond her years and a great message. One of the best speakers I have heard in years
- MD Energy Australia

Elka combined youthful enthusiasm with wise words of advice about setting goals and going for them with determination. She really added an inspiring dimension to our Duke of Edinburgh's Award presentation evening. The girls and their parents spoke so positively about Elka's honest and humorous delivery as she told us about her life journey so far. She related so easily to the girls at their age and stage and I am sure that many will be influenced to strive for bigger and better goals than they could have imagined beforehand
- Pymble Girls Private High school

As MC for our annual women’s breakfast Elka absolutely captivated our large early morning audience with her warmth and humour, and ably moved the event through its tight agenda. At every stage Elka was a consummate professional, and we have had so many written comments of appreciation from our guests. Elka also spoke as keynote at our subsequent VIP women’s luncheon and again completely engaged the audience, this time with her personal story and inspirational messages. Her energy, charm and openness helped enormously in making this important event such a success. The Heart Foundation is extremely grateful for the professionalism and immense warmth Elka contributed to our events
- Heart Foundation

Elka Whalan speaker

Speaker Video

Other speakers you might like:

Li Cunxin

Li's story is one of determination, passion, integrity and love. His journey filled with dreams shattered and revitalized. It is an empowering tale with so many lessons.

Tim Jarvis AM

Tim Jarvis AM is an environmental scientist, author, adventurer and public speaker with Masters degrees in environmental science and environmental law. He is committed to finding pragmatic solutions to major environmental issues related to climate change and biodiversity loss. He uses his public speaking engagements, films and books about his expeditions/work to progress thinking in these areas.

Cate Campbell

Cate’s dominance in the pool began at a young age, rising through the ranks to win two gold medals as a 13 year-old at the Australian Age Championships to put herself squarely on the national team radar as one to watch. By the age of 16, she had broken the Australian & Commonwealth 50m Freestyle records and earned selection at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she displayed remarkable maturity and poise on the biggest stage in world sport to win Bronze medals in the 50m Freestyle and 4 x 100m Freestyle events.

Ariarne Titmus

Ariarne Titmus has quickly become the star of the Australian sporting landscape off the back of her dual gold medal winning efforts in the 200m & 400m freestyle events at the Tokyo Olympics, defeating five-time Olympic champion and all-time great Katie Ledecky. The 400m freestyle battle between Titmus and Ledecky in Tokyo has been reported the as one of the greatest Olympic races & rivalries of all time, with U.S broadcaster NBC reporting an average TV audience of 16.2million viewers, firmly placing Ariarne’s profile on the international stage. Outside of the pool Ariarne has all the attributes we love in our champions – she is ambitious yet humble, passionate yet measured, with a maturity beyond her years. She is an articulate and insightful speaker & relishes in her responsibility as a role model to future generations. Ariarne is passionate about her cooking and recipe development, health & wellness, and has studied exercise & sports science at QUT before deferring her studies to focus on swimming. Ariarne is available for Q&A sessions Australia-wide.

Dean Boxall

Dean Boxall is the head coach at the revered swim program at St Peters Western and responsible for the exhilarating performances of Ariarne Titmus at Tokyo 2020 and her rise to the top of the swimming ranks.
Back to Top /**/