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Guest Post - A Short History of Swimming in Australia

Australia is a nation surrounded by water. Thousands visit each year just to play on our beaches and the waves. And every year you can count on an Australian winning at least one gold medal at a world championship event. But if you thought that Australia's success and the popularity of swimming has only arisen in the last 20 years or so – think again. This article will take a quick look at the people that have made Australian swimming what it is today. The pioneers – there are many Australian swimmers who are household names, and there are others that should be, but came a little before our time. When we're talking the pioneers of Australian swimming there are a few names that just can't be missed. The Cavill Family are one such name prominent in the early part of the 20th century. Of exceptional note is Richard Cavill Eve (a.k.a. Dick Eve), who until Shantal Newbery in 2004 was the only Australian to win a gold at an Olympic games for diving, a feat achieved at Paris 1924. Alongside Dick is Andrew 'Boy' Charlton who was one of the fastest Australian swimmers of the 20's and 30's, also winning gold in 1924 in the 1500m freestyle. The next generation – with the prominence of TV and radio it was not until the middle of the century that the household names of today really came to note. Of those are the unforgettable Dawn Fraser and six time Olympic medallist and previous world record holder, Iain Murray Rose. Dawn, even to this day is remembered as much for her controversial larrikin behaviour as well as her exceptional athletic ability (to this day she is one of only three swimmers to win the same Olympic event three times). The modern era – what's more to say on the current and and modern generation of swimmers? Just mention the names of Kieren Perkins, Susie O’Neil, Michael Klim, Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett, Liesel Jones, Ryan Napoleon, James Magnussen...and the list goes on... Combined with the feats of the previous generations, Australian Swimmers are here to stay, and we can look forward to more household names to come. Author Bio – Smith is a swimming trainer and he likes to write about swimming news and swimming history. He trained many Australian swimmers for the Olympic Games.

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