SHANE GOULD / by Molly Schiot

Shane Gould had a prodigious career, and a brief one. She was still only 15, a shy and lissom schoolgirl, when she did what no Australian, male or female, has ever done - in 1972 in Munich she won three individual gold medals at a single Olympics, all of them in world record time. Earlier, she had either equalled or broken 11 world records, and in the months before those Olympics, she had simultaneous possession of every world freestyle record from 100 to 1500 metres. Within a year she decided to retire;  "Basically... it just wasn't fun any more."

Shane Gould had a prodigious career, and a brief one. She was still only 15, a shy and lissom schoolgirl, when she did what no Australian, male or female, has ever done - in 1972 in Munich she won three individual gold medals at a single Olympics, all of them in world record time. Earlier, she had either equalled or broken 11 world records, and in the months before those Olympics, she had simultaneous possession of every world freestyle record from 100 to 1500 metres. Within a year she decided to retire;  "Basically... it just wasn't fun any more."