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Audio Shane Gould reflects on being an Olympian, 2008

TLF ID R10248

This is an edited sound recording of the former champion Australian swimmer Shane Gould talking about being an Olympian. Gould states that the values and ideals of the Olympic Movement are 'wonderful' and make Olympians feel 'a little bit special'. She reflects on the very big difference between the era when she competed, when all Olympians had to be amateurs, and the commercialism of the modern era, with successful swimmers able to earn money from their sport. She notes that gold medal winners at the Olympics have a higher marketing value than those who win bronze or silver medals.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This recording of a prominent Australian Olympian emphasises the importance of the values associated with the Olympic Movement. The goals of the Olympic Movement, established by the Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937), are to contribute to building a peaceful world and to the preservation of human dignity. Sport at the Olympic Games is supposed to be played in a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
  • This recording includes references to the transition away from an era in which all competitors in the Olympics were required to be amateurs. Shane Gould (1956-) points out that when she competed in 1972, the Olympic rules stated that swimmers must not be professionals. The rules covering swimming and most other sports at the Olympics have since been relaxed, so that competitors today can be professional athletes.
  • This recording stresses the link between success at the Olympics and the ability for an athlete to make money. Gould points out that gold medal winners have greater commercial value. She cites the example of the Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice (1988-), who won three gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and who has since been offered a range of contracts to allow her name to be linked to commercial products.
  • The modern Summer Olympics began as an international sports festival in Athens in 1896, inspired by the games held at Olympia in ancient times, and are now held every four years. Winter Olympic Games, featuring a range of winter sports, began in 1924, and are also now held every four years.
  • Gould first gained international attention in world swimming between April and December 1971. She equalled the world record in the women's 100 m freestyle, then broke world records in the 200 m, 400 m, 800 m and 1,500 m freestyle. Another milestone was achieved when she broke the 100 m freestyle record in January 1972 and became the first person, male or female, to hold all world freestyle records from 100 m to 1,500 m simultaneously.

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Content provider
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Person: Shane Gould
  • Description: Author
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
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  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
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Learning Resource Type
  • Audio
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.