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