One of Australia's most successful swimmers ever, Susie O'Neill holds a
record 35 Australian titles, eight Olympic medals and a string of victories at
international level. She created history by breaking
Mary T Meagher's 19 year old
world record in the 200m butterfly in 1999 to become Australian swimming's only
female world title holder. Her record stood until Polish swimmer Otylia
Jedrzejczac bettered her time in 2002.
The first Australian female swimming Olympic gold medallist since 1980, Susie
is also the first Australian female ever to win the 200m butterfly. After
narrowly missing selection as a fourteen year old for the 1988 Seoul Olympics,
Susie's career took off at the 1990 Commonwealth games with gold and silver
medals. Incredibly, Susie never came home without a medal from any international
competition, a streak stretching from 1990 to 2000.
Susie came of age at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, a gold, silver and bronze
medal, she was Australia's most outstanding Olympic performer since
Shane Gould in 1972. In September
1998 Susie was brilliant at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur where she won
a record eight medals including six gold. Susie won ten gold medals at
Commonwealth Games, the most ever for an Australian while her six gold in Kuala
Lumpur is a record for the most gold won at a single Commonwealth Games.
In August of 1999 Susie competed at the Pan Pacific Championships at Sydney's
Olympic venue. She won six medals including two gold in the 200m butterfly and
200m freestyle. At Sydney 2000 Susie affirmed herself as one of Australia's all
time greats. One gold and three silver, Susie has eight Olympic medals,
equalling Dawn Fraser's
Australian record of the biggest medal aggregate.
At the closing of the Games, Susie was officially appointed by the IOC as one
of a number of new delegates who are recent Olympians. With nothing left to
prove in the pool on the international stage, Susie retired from competitive
swimming and will now set about instilling some of her champion qualities into
the Olympic movement and the wider community.