Australia’s Most Decorated Swimmers: Short Profiles
Australia is a global powerhouse that has influenced and changed the course of competitive swimming. If you are keen observer of Olympic or any other swimming sporting event, then it is impossible for you not to recognize the Land Down Under. Some of the world’s best swimmers have donned the country’s latest innovations, such as swimsuits, personalised swim caps, fins, which aim to push the limits of physics and human physique.
Many people do not know that global swimming apparel and gear brand Speedo was founded in Sydney, Australia. The branded started humble and small, and through the dedicated efforts and innovative mindset of its founder, Alexander MacRae, the brand eventually made it big. Today, the brand does not only manufacture swim suits and goggles but other swim-related accessories and gears as well, such as personalised swim caps, water-proof watches and music players.
The popularity of the brand is so massive that its athletes it sponsors are some of the world’s and history’s finest. Many people know that the brand is the sponsor of world-renowned and world record-breaker, Michael Phelps. Aside from Olympic gold medalist Phelps, Speedo is also the sponsor of other top caliber swimmers like Ryan Lochte, Liam Tancock, Natalie Coughlin, Tae-Hwan Park, and FilippoMagnini. Additionally, the brand is the proud sponsor of some of the best swimmers in Australia, the brand’s birthplace, and these include Bronte Barratt and Libby Trickett.
Bronte Barratt – One of the most successful Australian swimmers of all time is Barratt. She started making a name for herself when she won the gold medal in women’s 4x200m freestyle relay and a silver medal in the 400m freestyle individual category at the World Short Course Championships held in Shanghai, China in 2006. In 2007, she proved that her victories in said competition were not a fluke as she broke the oldest record in Australian women swimming history, breaking Tracey Wickham’s 29-year-old record in 400m freestyle. These achievements helped her reputation and swimming career. Barratt participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics where she joined the 200m and 400m freestyle events. She won the Olympic gold in the Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay team event. Because of her achievements, the government of Australia awarded her with the Order of Australia recognition for winning the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics. She again competed in the 2012 London Olympics where she secured a bronze medal in the 200m freestyle event.
Libby Trickett– Lisbeth “Libby” Trickett is another decorated and superstar competitive swimmer from Australia that Speedo sponsors. Trickett is world record-holder and medalist at three different summer Olympics – 2004 Summer Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics, and 2012 Summer Olympics. She rose into fame after she had a great performance at the Australian championships in 2003, and was followed by her stellar performance at the 2003 World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Libby bagged the bronze medal in the women’s 50m freestyle event. She performed arguably better at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as aside from winning the bronze medal in 4x100m freestyle, she also bagged gold in 100m butterfly and set a new Australian record. In 2009, she decided to retire only to return in 2010. She qualified for the 2012 London Olympics and bagged a gold yet again, this time in 4x100m freestyle relay team. This was her fourth Olympic gold of her career.
Barratt and Trickett are just two of the dozen world-class and renowned Australian swimmers today. Their achievements and feats are nothing short of greatness and inspiration to young athletes and aspiring competitive swimmers. Because of their hard work and dedication, it is not surprising that big brands like Speedo are quick to recognize their talents and skills.