Petria Thomas OAM
Petria Thomas is an Australian sporting icon who has provided joy and excitement for many Australians through her sporting success.
Petria won 3 Gold and 1 silver at the 1998 CommonwealthGames in Kuala Lumpur.
Petria represented Australia in her home state of NSW at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games where she won 2 silver in relay events and 1 bronze in her specialty event of butterfly.
At the 2001 World Championships in Japan she won both the 100m and 200m butterfly and the medley relay to pick up 3 gold medals. At the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games she won gold in the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly, as well as the 4x100m medley and freestyle relays. She also won a silver in the 4x200m freestyle relay and a bronze in the 200m freestyle.
Due to injury much of 2003 was spent in recovery and her hopes for the 2004 Athens Games looked dim. Petria made a strong comeback after another shoulder reconstruction at the Olympic Trials where she broke the Commonwealth Record for the 50m and 100m butterfly also setting new personal bests in the 100m and 200m freestyle.
At the Athens Olympics Petria finally claimed the Olympic gold she had worked so hard for. Petria won her trademark event the 100m butterfly, as well as gold medals in the 4x100m medley and freestyle relays. She added a silver in the 200m butterfly and was selected to carry the Australian Flag at the closing ceremony. She has proven that no matter how much talent you have you may still face and overcome adversities associated with elite sports.
Petria is an Olympic Gold Medalist and winner of 15 National titles. She became the first female swimmer to ever win the same event at three consecutive Commonwealth Games – the 100m butterfly. She has claimed 8 Olympic Medals, 12 Commonwealth Games Medals and 16 World Championship Medals. She was awarded the World Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year in 2001 and has also been awarded an OAM for her services to sport. In 2005 she released her autobiography ‘Swimming against the tide’.
Born: 25 August 1975