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Doctor and javelin star

2024 is a big year for Mackenzie Little.

She is starting her first year as a full-time doctor at Royal North Shore Hospital and will also be competing in the women’s javelin at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

Currently ranked second in the world in her sport, the unassuming new doctor downplays her remarkable achievements. 

“I am certainly not unique in juggling a lot of things,” she said. 

Juggling medical studies and training, Mackenzie made her mark in 2021 at the Tokyo Olympics, secured silver at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and claimed bronze at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest.

Her schedule at times has been gruelling. Last year, she flew to Europe five times to compete, with four of those for weekend competitions.

“I’d leave late Thursday night, go to Europe, compete on the Saturday and fly back in Monday morning, and then go straight on the train to the hospital.”

The star athlete fell into javelin by accident. 

She started out competing in the under sixes Little Athletics and became a hurdler like her mother. But one day in year seven at Pymble Ladies College, when hurdles were called off due to rain, she joined javelin training.

The coach invited her back. 

“I gave it a go because the opportunity was there and I was naturally able to throw it,” said Mackenzie.

But alongside her love of sport, as the daughter of doctors, she said she has always been science oriented.   

“I really like working with people and certainly couldn’t sit at a desk. I’m just excited to run around and get the job done.”

Mackenzie is aware of the challenges ahead in her first year as a doctor and anticipates a “balancing act”.

“I think it will be a really difficult year,” she said. 

“Some might try to guess what my priorities are, but I’ve always wanted to medicine, and that’s going to be my career long-term.”

“We hope to have made a difference in the lives of these wonderful young people.”

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