|Full name||Susan O'Neill|
2 August 1973 |
|Height||1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||63 kg (139 lb)|
|Club||Commercial Swimming Club|
Susan O'Neill, AM (born 2 August 1973) is an Australian former competitive swimmer from Brisbane, Queensland, nicknamed "Madame Butterfly". She achieved eight Olympic Games medals during her swimming career.
Susan (Susie) O'Neill was born on 2 August 1973 in Mackay, Queensland to mother, Trish and father, John. She has two siblings, a brother and a sister. Her family moved to Brisbane and she was educated at Lourdes Hill College (LHC) in Hawthorne. Whilst at LHC, O'Neill excelled in sport, setting school records in 50 m and 100 m butterfly, freestyle, and backstroke. She was also LHC cross country champion and set records for the 13 years 800 m in 1986 and for the 15 years 400 m in 1988 for athletics. All these records still stood as of 2011.
O'Neill won the 200 m butterfly at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 200 m freestyle at the 2000 Summer Olympics. She won 35 Australian titles and with eight Olympics medals, among Australians, only Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones have more.
After winning a gold and a silver medal in her first attendance at a competition at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, O'Neill never failed to win a medal at any international meet she attended, right up until her final Olympics in front of a home crowd in Australia. At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Trials, she broke the 19-year-old world record of another "Madame Butterfly", Mary T. Meagher, in the 200m butterfly, but was beaten at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games by American Misty Hyman, in an upset.
She trained under Bernie Wakefield until 1994, then Scott Volkers at the Commercial Swimming Club in Brisbane.
Post swimming career
She commentated at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She was the Oceania athletes' representative on the International Olympic Committee from 2000 to 2005, when she resigned her membership (and was replaced by Barbara Kendall).
On 10 March 2007, O'Neill was honoured by having the temporary swimming pool in the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne named after her for the duration of the 12th FINA World Championships, the site of the swimming events.
Honours and awards
- 1996 - awarded the World Trophy for Australasia.
- 1996 - joint winner with Jackie Gallagher of the Australian Sport Awards Female Athlete of the Year
- 1997 - Australian Day Honours, O'Neill was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (AM) "for service to sport as a gold medallist at the Atlanta Olympic Games, 1996."
- 1998 - awarded the Australian Sport Awards Female Athlete of the Year
- 1998 - was named Favourite Female Sports Star at the 1998 and the 1999 Australian People's Choice Awards.
- 14 July 2000 - awarded the Australian Sports Medal for "her significant contribution as a competitor in swimming".
- 2000 - the State Transit Authority named a SuperCat ferry after O'Neill.
- 2000 - At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she was elected to the International Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission by competitors at the 2000 Games, but family obligations caused her to resign in 2005.
- 1 January 2001 - awarded the Centenary Medal "For service to the community through health".
- 5 December 2002 - inducted into Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
- 2009 - inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.
- In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, O'Neill was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for her role as a "sports legend".
- 2012 - elevated to become Sport Australia Hall of Fame's 34th Legend of Australian Sport.
- 2018 - appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in Australia Day Honours "For significant service to swimming at the elite level, as a mentor and role model, and to the community through support for charitable organisations."
O'Neill married Cliff Fairley, who works as an ophthalmologist, in 1998. They have two children.
- List of Olympic medalists in swimming (women)
- List of World Aquatics Championships medalists in swimming (women)
- List of Commonwealth Games medallists in swimming (women)
- World record progression 200 metres butterfly
- Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Susie O'Neill". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "Role model for women". The Catholic Leader. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- Susan O'Neill - World Fastest, Australia's Best
- "AOC Office Bearers and Australian IOC Members". Australian Olympic Committee website. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- ""My Heart Goes Boom" (single)". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
- "Australian Sport Awards". Confederation of Australian Sport. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- "Susan O'Neill OAM". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- Zuk, T. "1998 People's Choice Awards". Australian Television Information Archive. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- Zuk, T. "1999 People's Choice Awards". Australian Television Information Archive. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "Susan O'Neill". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- Gordon, Harry. "Susie O'Neill". Australian Olympic Committee website. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- "Susie O'Neill". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "Susan O'Neill OAM - Swimming". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "Ms Susan O'Neill OAM". Queensland Sport Hall of Fame. qsport.org.au. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- Bligh, Anna (10 June 2009). "PREMIER UNVEILS QUEENSLAND'S 150 ICONS". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
- Susie O'Neill at Sports Reference
- Susie O'Neill - Australian Olympic Committee
- Olympic Swimmer Susie O'Neill - ABC Queensland (Australian Broadcasting Corporation website)
- Susie O'Neill - Elite Sports Properties
- Susie O'Neill on IMDb
Mary T. Meagher
|Women's 200 metre butterfly
world record holder (long course)
17 May 2000 – 4 August 2002
|Women's 200 metre butterfly
world record holder (short course)
17 February 1999 – 18 January 2004
World Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year
Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year
1998 – 2000