Triple Gold Medallist in swimming, Petria Thomas is the epitome of Australian sporting culture. Her dedication, hard work has resulted in Petria remaining as the most experienced woman on the Australian swimming team.
At the Olympic Games in Athens her third and final Olympic campaign, Thomas won the 100 metres butterfly and was a member of the women's 4X100m freestyle and medley relay teams, which both won gold in world record breaking fashion.
She also won silver in the 200m butterfly to add to four previous medals she had won in Atlanta and Sydney.
Her success in Athens was especially significant due to the fact she has undergone three shoulder reconstructions during her 10-year international career.
In 1998 she was named Female Short Course Swimmer of the Year and was inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport's Swimming Hall of Fame.
Petria won the 2000 Australian Sports Medal and in 2001 won the Centenary Medal.
In 2001 she won both the New South Wales Young Australian of the Year and Young Australian of the Year [Sport Award] prizes.
She was named Australian Institute of Sport Athlete of the Year in 2001 and 2002. Thomas and gymnast Philippe Rizzo received the prize jointly in 2001 from Federal Sports Minister Rod Kemp in Canberra, the first time the award had been shared.
She became the first woman to win the same event at three consecutive Commonwealth Games when she won the 100m butterfly at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Her determination to achieve her goal of an Olympic Gold Medal has been well-documented and is a story that will have those present shaking their heads in amazement.