Queenslander Samantha Riley is indisputably one of Australia’s and the World’s greatest female swimmers. Her professional attitude and enthusiasm has afforded her international success since 1991. Some of Samantha’s greatest achievements include 1994/95 when she took home three Gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Canada, two Gold medals at the World Championships in Rome and two Gold medals at the Pan Pacific Games in Atlanta. Furthermore, she received two Gold medals and two World Records at the World Short Course Championships in Rio de Janeiro.
Samantha stunned the swimming world by becoming the first woman to break 1min 6sec for the distance in the Short Course (25m) pool. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Samantha was one of Australia’s most outstanding swimmers, winning a Bronze in the 100m Breaststroke and Silver in the Medley Relay.
1997 saw Samantha put in some of her best performances ever. At the National Championships in October, Samantha effortlessly cruised through the pool and shocked herself by breaking her own Australian record in the 100m breastroke with 1:07:66 – the third fastest time in history!
In 1998 Samantha won Gold Medals in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke at the Mare Nostrum Series in Monte Carlo and the TYR Games in Mulhouse, France, proving again that there is no stopping this phenomenal athlete. Samantha backed up her performances in Europe by coming away from the 1998 Commonwealth Games with a Gold and Silver medal.
1999 is proving to be a great year and a fabulous start on the journey to the 2000 Olympic Games with Samantha bagging eight Gold medals and one Silver medal from three World Cup Meets throughout Europe. She then showed her dominance in the pool when she won the 100m and 200m breaststroke at the Australian Titles in March and then a third placing in World Short Course Championships in Hong Kong.
Her tremendous efforts in the pool have elevated Samantha into the elite band of “Australian Super Swimmers", with her International success being likened to that of Tracey Wickham. Her commitment and dedication to the sport of swimming was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 1996 with Samantha being awarded an OAM for her services.
While Samantha’s success has already etched her name in Australian swimming history, her enthusiasm, commitment and strong desire to win means she will continue to succeed.
An example of Sam’s immense popularity was clearly seen when her appearance on “This Is Your Life" rated number one throughout Australia. Combine this with her likeable character and million-dollar smile and you have an exciting new face in Australian Sport.