AUSTRALIAN swimming legend, Susie O’Neill returned to her old school, Lourdes Hill College, Hawthorne on March 4 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day.
Susie is considered one of Australia’s most successful swimmers and Lourdes Hill College Health and Physical Education co-ordinator Deann Mayfield said she remembered her as a promising Year 8 student.
“Who, along with Narelle Marks (Year 9), could really swim, resulting in Lourdes Hill College winning the Beirne Cup – beating All Hallows’,” she said.
“Susie favoured backstroke then, apparently because she didn’t like getting her face wet.”
Mrs Mayfield said it was amazing Susie’s LHC swimming records still stood for the 50m and 100m butterfly, freestyle, and backstroke.
“I knew back then, as we would sit and watch her churning up our 25m pool, that we were watching something really special – “poetry in motion” I called it’,” she said.
“However, it wasn’t just swimming that Susie was good at; she was the LHC Cross Country Champion and still holds the 13 yrs 800m record (1986) and the 15yrs 400m record (1988) for athletics.”
Susie holds a record 35 Australian titles, eight Olympic medals and a string of victories at international level.
She said a Lourdes Hill College student, who attended the sold out breakfast for International Women’s Day, brought along her “Susie Barbie Doll” (still in its box).
“It is clear that Susie has always been a role model for girls, and she is now positively influencing women of all ages through her work as an Olympic ambassador,” she said.