It was announced last week that coach Denis Cotterell would be going into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and today it was revealed that triple Olympic gold medalist Jodie Henry would also be inducted into the hall tonight in Melbourne.
The annual event is one of the biggest in Australia hosting several Australian sporting greats and luminaries.
At the 2004 Olympics in Athens Henry broke the world record took home individual gold in the 100 freestyle, something that an Australian had not achieved since Dawn Fraser did in 1964. She also helped lead both the 4 x 100 freestyle and medley relay to the top of the medal podium in world record times.
The 4 x 100 freestyle relay win was a feat that no Australian team had a achieved since the 1956 Olympics, “Obviously Athens was the highlight of my career but that first gold medal on the first night – the 4x100m freestyle relay is my most vivid memory and one that stands out,” said Henry.
“My training partner Alice Mills was in the team with me; Libby Trickett as well and a local Brisbane girl, so we had done a fair bit of relay practice, because we knew we were a shot to win.”
Along with her Olympic medals Henry earned five gold, a silver and two bronze medals over three World Championships (2003, 2005 and 2007). She also collected a combined four Commonwealth gold and three silver medals at the 2002 and 2006 games.
Henry’s greatest success came under the guidance of coach Shannon Rollason. She acknowledged both his and her parents influence in her career, “At the time my coach was a big impact, but before that it was my parents. They did make it more fun for me in the way that I started in swimming, they didn’t push me at all.”
“I didn’t really start hard training until I was in my teens. I wasn’t overly passionate about swimming. I like it and enjoyed it, but I did it a lot for the social side,” said Henry.
“It was a real family thing for us, because we three girls did it and Dad was a master’s swimmer and he was involved in the local swimming club and was also a part time coach after his normal job would finish.”
“Jodie Henry ranks alongside and goes stroke for stroke with any of this country’s greatest female freestyle sprinters, a discipline that Australia has excelled at, and through her incredible achievements has reignited women’s swimming,” said Robert de Castella AO MBE, chair of the induction committee.
Henry will have the incredible honour of having Olympic legend Shane Gould as the presenter at tonight’s ceremony.