Inductee - Giaan Rooney

Giaan Rooney

Giaan Rooney


Effervescent Olympic, World and Commonwealth swimming champion Giaan Rooney's career began at age 11 at the Miami club on the Gold Coast where she was coached by the legendary Denis Cotterell.

Giaan made her international swimming debut for Australia at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, where she won a gold medal in the 1 00m backstroke as a 15-year-old. She was also part of Australia's gold-medal winning 4x100 m medley relay team at the 1998 Games.

At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Giaan won two silver medals as a part of the 4x100m medley relay and the 4x200m freestyle relay (with Kirsten Thomson, Susie O'Neill and fellow Gold Coaster Petria Thomas).

In 2001 she claimed the world champion title in the 200m freestyle, winning at the Fukuoka World Swimming Championships in Japan. This event is also wide[y remembered for the disqualification of the Australian women's team after they jumped in the water to celebrate apparent victory zn the 4x200m freestyle relay.

The team of Elka Graham, Petria Thomas and Linda MacKenzie joined anchor swimmer Giaan in the water to celebrate their win, but as it was before all other competitors had finished the event, they were disqualified.

Giaan competed in her second 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester,England, winning silver in the 4x200m freestyle relay with Elka Graham, Rebecca Creedy and Petria Thomas and bronze in the 100m backstroke.

The Athens 2004 Olympic Games provided her with a distinct career highlight. At those Games she won a gold medal in world record time in the Women's 4x100m Medley Relay.

Giaan swam a personal best and new Australian record time of 1:01.18 to help Australia to the gold - the maiden victory by Australia in this event at an Olympic Games.

After the withdrawal of Grant Hackett from the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games due to injury, the Bond University sporting scholar was appointed the captain of the Australian swimming team.

She won silver medals behind teammate Sophie Edington in the 50m and 100m backstroke. The 2006 Commonwealth Games were Giaan's final elite swimming competition.

Giaan is a Channel 9 television presenter and commentator and, at the time of her induction, had regularly appeared on Nine's Wide World of Sports, The Today Show, the network's popular health series What's Good For You and the top-rating travel program Getaway.