Karl Stefanovic gushes over Olympic swimming champ Zac Stubblety-Cook’s physique to his girlfriend


Karl Stefanovic has gushed about Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook’s ‘great rig’ during an interview with the swimmer’s girlfriend and mother – who revealed her son used to be terrified of water.

Stubblety-Cook won gold in the men’s 200m breaststroke final on Thursday with an Olympic-record time of two minutes and 6.38 seconds.

No Australian had won the 200m breaststroke final at the Olympics since the previous Tokyo Games in 1964.  

The Today show host couldn’t help professing his admiration for Stubblety-Cook’s toned physique while speaking to his mother Julie and girlfriend of five-and-a-half-years Ella Martinkovic on Friday morning.

Karl Stefanovic couldn't help telling Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook's long-term girlfriend about the swimmer's 'great rig'

Karl Stefanovic couldn’t help telling Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook’s long-term girlfriend about the swimmer’s ‘great rig’

‘Karl is saying he’s got a great rig,’ sports presenter Alex Cullen told the swimmer’s girlfriend back in Brisbane.

‘He has!’ Stefanovic could be heard saying off camera.

‘No complaints,’ Ms Martinkovic responded, prompting roars of laughter back in the studio.

Ms Stubblety-Cook meanwhile said her son had come a long way from the youngster who used to scream when he put his face under the water and was too embarrassed to let his own mother see him swimming. 

‘In the last five years he’s really, really knuckled down,’ she said.

‘He trains for hours and hours, he works three days a week and studies at Griffith University. He’s a very busy boy.’

‘Am I right in saying he was scared of the water when he was a kid?’ Cullen asked.

‘Absolutely,’ his mother responded. ‘I actually used to get told by the swim teachers, ‘Go hide in the bushes so he can’t see you.”

'No complaints' Ms Martinkovic responded when Stefanovic made clear his admiration for the swimmer's physique

‘No complaints’ Ms Martinkovic responded when Stefanovic made clear his admiration for the swimmer’s physique

‘He would scream about putting his face in the water,’ she said, adding he would scream in the deep end of the pool if his feet couldn’t touch the bottom.

Stubblety-Cook after his win had praised his family and girlfriend for helping him secure his gold medal victory.

‘Unbelievable, without their support I wouldn’t be here but it’s been a tough five years and I’m lost for words to be honest,’ he told Channel Seven. 

He trailed for the majority of the race and was in third place at the final turn before bringing it home in the last 50m.

Stubblety-Cook is seen with his girlfriend Ella. The 22-year-old has won gold and broke the Olympic record

Stubblety-Cook is seen with his girlfriend Ella. The 22-year-old has won gold and broke the Olympic record

‘That’s the way I train and the way I race all the time so at these games I’m not going to try and change anything,’ he said.

‘I’m just happy the process paid off.’   

His mother said she didn’t expect him to make the semi finals and was blown away by him taking out the gold and an Olympic record.

Zac Stubblety-Cook is seen ahead of his 200m breaststroke heat at the Tokyo Olympics

Zac Stubblety-Cook is seen ahead of his 200m breaststroke heat at the Tokyo Olympics

‘I’m so happy for him after all that hard work and dedication. It’s just such a bonus,’ she said. 

Along with his iconic name, Stubblety-Cook has also gained the attention from Aussies watching on from home for his good looks.

‘I am objectifying the male swimmers on my TV. Specifically this dude,’ one woman tweeted with a photo of Stubblety-Cook in his swimmers.

‘And the gold medal for best Olympic name goes to… Zac Stubblety-Cook from the Australian swim team. Congrats Zac!’ another said.

The 22-year-old from Queensland had been a favourite to win after taking out first place in his semis with the fastest time of two minutes and 7.35 seconds

The 22-year-old from Queensland had been a favourite to win after taking out first place in his semis with the fastest time of two minutes and 7.35 seconds

Along with his iconic name, Stubblety-Cook has also gained the attention from Aussies watching on from home for his good looks with one woman tweeting a photo of Zac in his swimmers

Along with his iconic name, Stubblety-Cook has also gained the attention from Aussies watching on from home for his good looks with one woman tweeting a photo of Zac in his swimmers

‘Zac Stubblety-Cook sounds like a nursery rhyme,’ tweeted one.

‘Apart from having a brilliant name, Zac Stubblety-Cook paces his races as well as anyone in men’s swimming,’ another swimming fan said.

‘There will never be an olympic swimmer with a name that’s more fun to say.’   



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