DOUBLE OLYMPIC CHAMPION, OLYMPIC BRONZE, AUTHOR, PROFESSIONAL SPEAKER & CLINICIAN As an international swimmer, Penny Heyns established herself as the world’s greatest female breaststroker of the 20th Century by becoming the only woman in Olympic history to win both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke events in Atlanta 1996, bronze in Sydney 2000 and by breaking a total of 14 individual world records during her career. Furthermore, she is still the only Breaststroke swimmer, male or female, in the history of swimming to break long course world records in all three possible distances, namely the 50m, 100m and 200m. Her achievements brought her personal audiences with Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s beloved “Madiba”, and catapulted her into the world of sporting celebrity.
While she spent much of her time in the United States and Canada, her heart remained in South Africa, where she now lives. She has not, however, just excelled as a sports woman in the international arena, but has established herself, after her retirement in 2001, as a businesswoman, guest television presenter, coach and a sought after Inspirational speaker. 2006 saw Penny become an inaugural inductee into the South African Sport Hall of Fame and in May 2007 she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida –USA. March 2012, she became the first non-track & field female athlete to be inducted into the Africa Sports Hall of Fame. She currently serves on the World Governing Body of Aquatics (FINA) as Bureau member and Chairperson of the Athletes Committee and is also the sole athlete representative on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Compliance Review Committee.