Olympian in race for $500,000

Sunday Tasmanian - - NEWS - KANE YOUNG En­ter­tain­ment Ed­i­tor

NEARLY half a cen­tury af­ter she won three gold medals at the 1972 Mu­nich Olympics, swim­ming leg­end Shane Gould is just days away from an­other huge vic­tory — and a $500,000 pay­day.

Gould, 61, who has lived in Bicheno on Tas­ma­nia’s East Coast for the past decade, is the old­est com­peti­tor on re­al­ity TV show Aus­tralian Sur­vivor: Cham­pi­ons v Con­tenders, and has out­lasted many ri­vals less than half her age. A field of 24 con­tes­tants be­gan film­ing the pro­gram on a Fi­jian is­land in May, but now only four re­main in the run­ning for the ti­tle — Gould, former AFL foot­baller Brian Lake, HR as­sis­tant Shonee Fair­fax, and bar­ris­ter Sharn Coombes.

Gould will find out who wins the lu­cra­tive prize at the same time TV view­ers do, on Tues­day night.

“It’s pretty tense — I’m hope­ful,” she said. “Brian and Sharn have proven to be pretty wily play­ers, and they’ve won a lot of in­di­vid­ual chal­lenges.

“Shonee is a good per­son to join forces with but it’s hard to know which way she’ll swing.”

If Gould sur­vives the next two elim­i­na­tions and makes the grand fi­nale, she will pitch her case to a jury of nine pre­vi­ously elim­i­nated con­tes­tants as to why they should vote for her to win. “I got off-side with some peo­ple on the jury … so it’s a 50-50 chance if I get there,” she said.

Gould would love to see an­other Tas­ma­nian con­tes­tant step up to the Sur­vivor chal­lenge.

“It was a fab­u­lous ex­pe­ri­ence, and I en­cour­age peo­ple to ap­ply … it’d be great to get an­other Tas­ma­nian on the next season,” she said.

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