The Australian swimmer famously achieved Olympic gold on numerous occasions and won 15 titles in her nation’s name.
Petria Thomas, who turns 40 today, began her Olympic dream frequently being outshone by rival Susie O’Neill, notably during her Olympic debut in the 1996 Atlanta Games where she secured silver.
With the knowledge Athens 2004 was going to be her third and final Olympic appearance, Thomas didn’t pass up the opportunity and soon made Olympic history.
Despite her age, ankle and shoulder reconstructions, the swimmer seemingly unfazed battled to claim a pole position finish in the 100m butterfly, seize silver in the 200m equivalent, and finally with Jodie Henry, Libby Lenton and Alice Mills win the 4 x 100m freestyle relay race.
In total, the Australian collected three gold medals including four silvers and a bronze. Her accolades earned the respect and praise of her nation as she was inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport Swimming Hall of Fame and Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
More sports personalities born on this day:
1969: Catriona Matthew, former Women’s British Open and Solheim Cup winner who competed at the Rio Olympics. (47)
1970: Adrian Lam, former Wigan scrum-half and current head coach of Papua New Guinea. (46)
1975: Brad Drew, former Huddersfield and Wakefield hooker. (41)
1979: Marlon Harewood, widely-travelled striker whose former clubs included West Ham and Nottingham Forest. (37)
1987: Justin Upton, hard-hitting MLB outfielder who was named to two All-Star teams with the Arizona Diamondbacks between 2007 and 2012. (29)
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