As the world’s greatest female breaststroker of the 20th century, Penny Heyns’ experiences have given her unparalleled insights into what it takes to get to the top, and more importantly, how to stay there. , She shares with her audiences the lessons she learned both while training internationally in the US and Canada and while competing at the forefront of international competition.
Penny has addressed hundreds of South African audiences and her message has been acclaimed as far afield as in the USA, Canada, Australia, Sri-Lanka, Dubai, Qatar, Switzerland as well as in African countries like Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and Mozambique.
As an international swimmer, Penny became the only woman in Olympic history to win both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke events in Atlanta 1996, bronze in Sydney 2000 and by breaking a total of 14 individual world records during her career. She is also the only breaststroker, male or female, in the history of swimming, to hold long course world records in all three possible distances, namely the 50m, 100m & 200m events.
In 2006, Penny Heyns become an inaugural inductee into the South African ‘Sport Hall of Fame’ and in May 2007 she joined elite International icons such as Johnny Weissmuller – better known as the original Tarzan – and Mark Spitz, when she was inducted into the prestigious ‘International Swimming Hall of Fame’ in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Most recently, in March 2012, she became the first non-track & field female athlete to be inducted into the ‘Africa Sports Hall of Fame’.
Mark Twain once said: “It takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” While even the most gifted presenter has to work at it, some are naturals at the podium, quickly capturing the crowd’s attention and leaving a lasting impression on every listener. Penny is one such speaker!