Neil Rogers, Debbie Meyer, David Handley, John Konrads, Carl Probert, Deke Zimmerman, Shane Gould: 2005 Fiji Swims

One of the fun aspects of the Fiji Swims has been the participation of some of the all time greats of world swimming participating alongside  recreational swimmers from across the world.

Natalie Coughlin (USA) won two gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics. One of the most popular swimmers in the world Natalie is an all rounder who competes in many different events claiming a number of world records. Natalie joined us in Fiji for the first time in 2007 and will be competing in the Beijing Olympics this year.

Shane Gould (Australia) is the only person, male or female, to hold every world freestyle record from 100m to 1500m simultaneously, and the only swimmer ever to win three Olympic gold medals in world record time, together with one silver and one bronze. Together with Milton Nelms (USA), one of the world’s most recognised swimming consultants, Shane now travels to teach swimming and educate communities around the world about water awareness and safety. Shane will join us in 2008 and has swum each year since 2005.

Danyon Loader
Carl Probert

John Konrads (Australia) competed in three consecutive Olympic Games from 1960 to 1968 winning one gold and 3 bronze medals. He astounded the sporting world when at the age of 15 he broke all world freestyle records from 200m to 1500m. John swam in the first four Fiji Swims.

Danyon Loader (New Zealand) won two gold medals at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and one silver at Barcelona in 1992. New Zealand’s greatest ever swimmer Danyon came out of retirement to swim in Fiji in 2006 winning the 2.7km race. Returning in 2007 to come sixth but only 21 seconds behind first place, Danyon has vowed not to be beaten in future. This will have to wait as he is off to Beijing to mentor the NZ team.

Debbie Meyer (USA) and the golden girl of the 1968 Olympics with three gold medals joined us in 2005, renewing her friendship with John and Mikki Konrads along the way. Debbie runs a prominent swimming school in California.

Carl Probert (Fiji)  is an extraordinary athlete who is about to represent Fiji at his fifth consecutive Olympics in Beijing as a swimming sprint specialist. The day Carl arrived back from the Athens Olympics in 2004 he came straight to Beachcomber to win the inaugural Fiji Swim. Carl was the fastest Fijian male in each of our first three years. Rumour has it Carl will join us this year before flying to Beijing.

Neil Roger (Australia) swam in the 1972 and 1976 100m butterfly finals. In 1976 Neil captained the Australian Olympic swimming team. Now a coach based out of the famous Bondi Icebergs in Sydney, Neil came second to Carl Probert in the inaugural Fiji Swim - despite the assistance from his ‘stinger’ suit. Returning in 2005 and 2006 Neil is back again this year.

Murray Rose (Australia) is one of the most successful Olympic swimmers of all time with four gold medals, two silver and two bronze from the 1956 and 1960 Games in the long distance freestyle events and relays.  Murray regularly wins his age division of the ocean swims around Sydney’s beaches and this year is the first time he has joined us in Fiji.

Allison Wagner (USA) is a multiple world record holder and Olympic silver medallist from Atlanta in the 200m medley. A painter and still swimming competitively, including participating in this year’s US National Championships this is Allison’s first Fiji Swims.

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