It’s happy birthday to Aus­tralian swim­mer Ea­mon Sul­li­van (1985 - ).

Shepparton News - - SN VIEW POINT -

Touted as Aus­tralia’s next golden boy of the pool in the wake of Ian Thorpe’s re­tire­ment, three-time Olympic medal­list Ea­mon Sul­li­van didn’t quite live up to the na­tion’s high ex­pec­ta­tions. Sul­li­van broke five world records and col­lected a swag of in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic freestyle and re­lay medals dur­ing his decade-long ca­reer, but ul­ti­mately fell short of cap­tur­ing an elu­sive Olympic gold medal. His best chance came in the 100 m freestyle fi­nal, his pet event, at the 2008 Beijing Games. But Aus­tralian swim­ming’s poster boy was pipped on the wall by French­man Alain Bernard, who pushed Sul­li­van back to sil­ver by 0.11 of a sec­ond. While still at Perth’s John XXIII Col­lege in 2002, the school­boy was awarded medals in 50 m and 100 m freestyle events at the Aus­tralian Age Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships. Two years later, Sul­li­van was the youngest mem­ber of Aus­tralia’s Olympic swim­ming team at the 2004 Athens Games, with the 18-year-old rep­re­sent­ing the green and gold in the men’s 4 x 100 m freestyle re­lay. After suc­cess at the 2006 Mel­bourne Com­mon­wealth Games and 2007 World Cham­pi­onships, the Western Aus­tralian left for Beijing in 2008 as one of Aus­tralia’s best gold medal hopes, only to re­turn with a sil­ver and two bronze. A mem­ber of the in­fa­mous ‘‘Stil­nox six’’, Sul­li­van and five other mem­bers of Aus­tralia’s 2012 Lon­don Olympics freestyle re­lay team were pun­ished in 2013 for tak­ing a banned sleep­ing pill at a preGames camp. He re­tired at age 28. Out of the pool, the Western Aus­tralian won Celebrity MasterChef Aus­tralia in 2009, re­leased a mini cook­book in 2011 and owns a num­ber of restau­rants.

Pic­ture: AAP Im­age/Tracey Nearmy

Ea­mon Sul­li­van

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