Penny Swims into Hall of Fame

South African swimming superstar Penny Heyns has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in its centennial celebrations.Penny Heyns has become the first South African swimmer in 22 years to be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

The ceremony took place on Saturday, May 12 in

Ft. Lauderdale,
as the International Swimming Hall of Fame commemorated its 100 year celebration of Women in Swimming.

Last year, Penny became gsport’s inaugural Hall of Fame inductee, when we launched on 1 August, 2006.

At the Olympic Games in

in 1996, Penny carved out her own personal slice of history by becoming the first South African to win Olympic gold in 44 years.

Not only that, she bagged two gold medals in the 100 and 200m breaststroke (having set a new world record in the heats of the 100m), becoming the only woman in history to accomplish the elusive double.

Three years later she was to achieve something else nobody before her had managed – breaking 11 world records in three months on three different continents, and so establishing herself as arguably the greatest breaststroker to date.

Another remarkable feat is that she held the 50, 100 and 200m long course breaststroke world records simultaneously in 1999.

In its description about Penny, the International Swimming Hall of Fame writes:

FOR THE RECORD: 1992 OLYMPIC GAMES: competitor; 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke); 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES: bronze (100m breaststroke); FOURTEEN WORLD RECORDS: (2-50m breaststroke, 5-100m breaststroke, 4-200m breaststroke, 1-50m breaststroke (sc), 2-100m breaststroke (sc); 1994 COMMONWEALTH GAMES: bronze (100m breaststroke).

The 1992 Olympic Games were a warm-up for Penny for what was to become a breaststroke gold-medal sweep in 1996 in


She also competed in a third Olympics in 2000 in

winning a bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke, the same medal she won at the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

This young swimmer from
South Africa, who trained later in

, held 14 breaststroke world records in distances of 50 meters, 100 meters and 200 meters.

Three of those records were for short course meters. Heynes held more breaststroke world records than any other swimmer in history, male or female.

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gsport Newsroom

gsport Newsroom

Launched in 2006, gsport exists to enhance the commercial prospects of our women athletes, and other women in sport, by telling the inspiring story of SA women in sport. Thank you for your contribution!

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