Medals delight golden girls

Yolane Kukla.
Yolane Kukla.

Paralympian Katherine Downie and Olympian Yolane Kukla were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to swimming.

Downie (18) was part of the gold medal-winning 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay teams at the 2012 London Paralympics. She won silver and bronze at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships in Montreal last year.

Downie, who recently completed Year 12 at Peter Moyes Anglican Community School in Mindarie, hopes to swim at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July.

Kukla (18), of Marmion, was part of the gold medal-winning women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team at the London Olympics. She won gold in the women’s 50m freestyle at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and also hopes for a spot at the Glasgow games.

‘I was really, really excited and shocked about the award,’ said Kukla, who relocated to Perth from Brisbane about 12 months ago.