Leisel Jones OAM was Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2015 as an Athlete Member for the sport of swimming.
“Lethal Leisel” is the most successful Australian female swimmer of all time and the only one, male or female, to have competed at four Olympic Games.
Between making her international debut at the 2000 Sydney Olympics Games at age 15 and her retirement after the 2012 London Olympic Games, the breaststroke specialist won nine Olympic medals; three gold, five silver and one bronze.
She also won seven gold, four silver and three bronze across five world championship appearances, held 14 world records, won a silver and a bronze at world short course, 10 gold and a silver at the Commonwealth Games and one gold, four silver and one bronze at the Pan Pacific Championships.
In all Leisel won 21 gold, 15 silver and six bronze medals at major championships, while she also twice broke both the 100m and 200m breaststroke world records.
Because of her young age and with the added pressure of the Olympic Games being in Sydney, Jones performed beyond most people’s expectations, swimming a personal best to win silver in the 100m. She then helped win a second silver in the 100m medley relay, an event which was to play a enormous part in her Olympic career. The medley relay produced two of her three gold medals from the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and she wrapped up her career with another silver in the same event at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Her proudest moment was winning the individual 100m in Beijing, beating American Rebecca Soni, who then needed a world record swim to turn the tables on her in the 200m. At the same games in the medley, Jones and her team-mates broke the world record by an astonishing three seconds.
She was virtually unbeatable at Commonwealth Games level, winning three gold at Manchester in 2002, four in Melbourne in 2006, including an unprecedented clean sweep of the breaststroke events, the 50m, 100m and 200m and three gold and a silver in Delhi in 2010.
Jones was named the 2005 World Female Swimmer of the Year, the 2005 and 2006 Australia Female Athlete of the Year, and the first female to win the publicly voted 2006 People’s Choice Award. In 2005 she was awarded an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) for service to sport as a gold medallist at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.