Grant Hackett, Ian Thorpe go from hero to zero while golden girls thrive


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Life after swimming has left the likes of Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett floundering, but Australia’s golden girls have taken a shine to new careers post-pool.


Athens Olympic gold medallist Giaan Rooney has carved out a successful, scandal-free career as a swimming commentator and advertising spruiker, while three-time Olympian Nicole Livingstone also has a high-profile media gig with Channel 10.

Libby Trickett, who retired for the second time last year after a gold medal-winning comeback in London, is studying business and communications at Griffith University in between paid gigs with Channel Nine and Brisbane telecommunications company Megaport.

She has also been an ambassador for companies including Speedo, Reebok, KFC, Telstra and Rio Tinto.

“Madame Butterfly” Susie O’Neill, who won eight Olympic medals, married an eye surgeon and flogs everything from toothpaste to pool products while triple Olympic medallist Sam Riley has built a chain of swim schools and 24-hour gyms.

But Riley sympathises with former athletes who find it tough to adjust to life after the sporting glories are over.

“I have a great life and great kids and I’m in a really good place but I still have moments where it’s hard,” she said.

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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