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Shane Gould

A journey from the wild ocean to the Olympic pool.
Born Nov. 23, 1956
Hometown Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia
Sport Swimming
Olympic Games 1972


After her family moved back to their native Australia from Fiji in time for Shane to attend primary school, Shane began swimming competitively. A budding superstar, young Shane quickly rose through the ranks, and by the time she was 15, she had arrived on the Olympic stage.

Shane dominated the lanes at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games, winning five medals—three gold, one silver and one bronze. She simultaneously held world records in the 100-, 200-, 400-, 800- and 1500-meter freestyle, as well as the 200-meter individual medley.

Quote My greatest memory at the Olympic Games is the people from all around the world coming together to play games in peace. Unquote

After dominating at the 1972 Games, Shane was catapulted into the limelight. The athletic young star recoiled from the pressures of fame, and she took up other challenges away from competitive swimming, returning to explore the wild ocean of her childhood. It wasn’t until two decades later that Shane returned to competitive swimming at the masters level where she continued to break world records.

Today, the prodigious swimmer dedicates herself to the Shane Gould Swimming Project—a nonprofit that operates in Fiji, Sweden and in aboriginal communities in Australia by training aspiring swimmers with the necessary skills to keep them safe.

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