Inside with Brett Hawke: Susie O’Neill

By Fitter and Faster Staff

Susie O’Neill is one of Australia’s most successful Olympians ever. Madame Butterfly won a Bronze (Barcelona), Gold (Atlanta), and Silver (Sydney) over 3 Olympics in the 200 Fly. She also won the 200 Free in Sydney — a race that can be a bit overshadowed in a career filled with big races. She stood on the podium at 3 different Olympics 8 separate times.

Nowadays you can hear her on the radio with Ash, Kip, & Luttsy.

Brett and Susie talk about…
Still waking up at 4 AM to go to swim training. She just loves being in the water.
How she made international news a few months ago after publicly watching the 200 Fly Final and breaking down with emotion in tears.
Swimming with Mr. Wakefield.
When did swimming stop being fun?
Originally was a backstroker.
In 1988 she switched to butterfly. She was 14 years old.
“I always wanted to be a sprinter..just like everyone.” – Susie O’Neill
Mr. Wakefield sat me down and told me I had a chance to make the Australian Team in the 200 Fly and that’s when I swam my first 200 Fly.
Having panic attacks as a young swimmer.
Barcelona 1992 Olympics: looking around in the 200 Fly.
Deciding to change coaches. Telling Mr. Wakefield.
Scott Volkers.
Never swam any long distance butterfly in practice. The focus was to never let her stroke technique get bad. Longer butterfly sets were always done with short fins.
Was a tremendous trainer.
2:05.91 the only time she can still remember.
Breaking the World Record at Australian Trials.
2:05.81
Misty Hyman.
Winning the 200 Free in Sydney and not quite getting to enjoy the moment.
What message can you give to young woman?
Ashley Callus stealing a strawberry jam.
Positive self talk. Believing in yourself.
What’s coming up in the future?