Penelope Heyns, born in 1974, showed true potential from a young age despite only having started swimming at the age of 14. She was the youngest member of the South African Olympic team when she participated in the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona.
In the Atlanta 1996 Olympics she gained herself the incredible title of 'World's greatest female breaststroker of the 20th Century', when she became the only woman in Olympic history to win both the 100 meter and 200 meter breaststroke events.
She captured the heart of her nation as she won its first gold medal in 44 years and since the apartheid era, and now its only Double Olympic Individual Gold Medallist.
Penny broke 14 individual world records during her career, which is more than any other breaststroke swimmer in history and is also the only breaststroker, male or female, to hold World Records in all three possible distances – 50, 100 and 200 meters.
"I realised I had everything I wanted and I was empty," Penny claimed, and in April 1997 Heyns turned her faith towards God and dedicated her life to the Lord Jesus.
After a very successful career of professional swimming, Penny retired in 2001 declaring "God has better things in mind for me". And this proved true, as her success didn't end there.
Heyns is now an athlete's commission member of the International Swimming Federation and is also a highly sought after professional speaker and swimming clinician. She offers corporate motivational talks, mental power seminars, swim clinics to schools and clubs, and Olympic Series Clinics.