|Full name||Alice Mary Tait|
23 May 1986 |
Alice Mary Tait (née Mills) OAM (born 23 May 1986 in Brisbane, Queensland) is a former Australian sprint freestyle, butterfly and individual medley swimmer who represented Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics, winning two relay gold medals. Tait announced her retirement from the sport in June 2012.
Trained by her coach Shannon Rollason at the Chandler Sports Complex along with her good friend Jodie Henry, Tait was selected to make her international debut at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, at the age of 16, where she collected a gold in the 4x100 m freestyle relay, as well as competing in the finals of the 50 m freestyle and 200 m individual medley. She repeated this at the 2002 Pan Pacific Championships in Yokohama, Japan.
2003 saw a big improvement in Tait's performance on the international stage, when she grabbed two silver medals at the 2003 World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, Spain in the 200 m individual medley and 50 m freestyle, breaking the Commonwealth record in the former and the Australian record in the latter. She also collected a silver and bronze in the 4x200 m and 4x100 m freestyle relays respectively.
2004 was a somewhat mixed year for Tait. She was beaten into 3rd place at the Australian trials in both the 50 m and 100 m freestyle, meaning that she was forced to watch these events from the stands. However, along with teammates Libby Lenton, Petria Thomas, and Jodie Henry, she won gold with a world record time in the women's 4x100 meter relay; 3min 35.94s. Later, she performed much slower than her previous best in the 200 m individual medley, being eliminated in the final. She admitted that she had been distracted by the earlier relay triumph. She also picked up a gold by swimming in the heats for the victorious 4x100 m medley relay team.
Tait started 2005 by relocating to the Australian Institute of Sport along with Rollason and Henry. She started the year strongly, winning the 50 m and 100 m freestyle at the Australian championships, both in new personal best times, the former in Commonwealth record time. She also qualified in the 50 m butterfly in second place, and came third in the 100 m butterfly( but was not selected as each country is restricted to two entries, despite being ranked third in the world), all in new personal best times. However, she had a form slump at the 2005 World Swimming Championships in Montreal, Canada, swimming much slower than at the selection trials, and missing the medals. She collected a gold medal as part of the 4x100 m freestyle relay team.
In 2006, Tait qualified and competed at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. She won bronze in the 50 m and 100 m freestyle behind Libby Lenton and Jodie Henry and in the 50 m butterfly behind Danni Miatke and Jessicah Schipper. She combined with Henry, Lenton and Shayne Reese to claim gold in the 4x100 m freestyle relay.
- "2004 Olympic Games swimming results". CNN. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
- "Montreal 2005 Results". Archived from the original on 2007-01-28. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
- "2003 World Championships - Short Course Swim Rankings results". Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "BBC Sport Commonwealth Games 2002 Statistics". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- "Swimming Schedule and Results". Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- "Alice Mary Mills". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
- Greenwood, Emma (13 March 2012). "Alice tells of rebound from dark days". goldcoast.com.au (News Limited). Retrieved 1 April 2012.