Olympic swimmer ignites ocean swimming movement in Tasmania


When former pool swimmer and Olympic gold medalist, Shane Gould, moved from mainland Australia to Bicheno, Tasmania in 2007, she noticed that no one in the local community was swimming in the ocean. In an effort to change that, she initiated a 5k swim from Waubs Bay to Diamond Island and back, which sparked an ocean swimming movement that advocates for the necessity of human engagement with nature and the un-regimented wandering that the vast Great Southern Reef provides.

Renowned as one of the world’s greatest female swimmers, Gould swam at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich and is still the only woman ever to win five individual medals. A year later she retired from competitive swimming and stepped out of the spotlight. She cultivated a unique private family life for 22 years living a sustainable lifestyle on a farm in southwestern Australia where she taught surfing and horse-back riding, while always maintaining a close connection to the coast.

Gould holds two Masters degrees and recently completed her PhD from Victoria University in Melbourne where she used her position in Australian sporting history to complete an academic study of swimming and how it is represented in Australia. She maintains a strong belief that daily experiences with nature are vital for human development and wellbeing — a belief that is reflected through her robust level of fitness and daily morning swims, be it in summer or winter temperatures.



About Author

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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