HONOR SWIMMER: Aussie Libby Trickett ready to release new book
2018 ISHOF Honor Swimmer Libby Lenton Trickett is set to release her new book:
The brave and inspiring memoir of one of Australian Swimming’s Golden Girls, whose extraordinary achievements masked her private battles with anxiety and depression.
Australians know Libby Trickett as one of our golden girls of swimming. Winner of multiple Olympic gold medals and setter of world records, Libby wasn’t just a champion, she was Australia’s girl next door, the humble superstar from suburban Brisbane with the infectious grin and sunny nature.
Yet what we saw on the surface – the confidence, competitiveness and warmth that were her hallmarks – belied the very private battles she fought in her own head. Beneath the incredible achievements and that trademark smile, Libby suffered from crippling depression.
During her swimming career she managed to keep her demons more or less at bay, but when an injury forced her to retire in 2013 Libby was suddenly thrust into an unfamiliar world. With few, if any, qualifications to handle it, her self-doubts began to overwhelm her. The birth of her first baby added further complications to her fragile mental health, and she suffered intense postnatal depression. When she finally recognised the depression for what it was, and sought help for it, it was a major turning point in her life.
Libby’s memoir is an extraordinarily candid, revealing and inspiring account of both her public life as one of our greatest swimming champions, and her struggle to overcome her mental health challenges.
Earlier this week, Libby posted on her Instagram page, “It’s here. I can’t believe it’s a for release book now! Coming to a book store near you in October or you can pre-order now! Libby’s book will be available on Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble.com
Libby Trickett (AUS)
2018 Honor Swimmer
FOR THE RECORD: 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (4×100m freestyle), bronze (50m freestyle); 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (100m butterfly, 4x100m medley), silver (100m freestyle), bronze (4x100m freestyle); 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (4x100m freestyle); 2003 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (LC): bronze (50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle); 2005 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (LC): gold (50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley), silver (100m butterfly, 4×200m freestyle); 2007 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (LC): gold (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4×100 m freestyle, 4×100m medley); 2009 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (LC): silver (4×100 m medley), bronze (100m freestyle, 4×100 m freestyle); 2004 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (SC): gold (100m freestyle, 4×100m medley), silver (50m freestyle, 4×200m freestyle), bronze (50m butterfly, 4×100m freestyle); 2006 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (SC): gold (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4×200m freestyle, 4×100m medley) silver (4×100m freestyle); 2006 Commonwealth Games: gold (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 4×100m freestyle, 4×200m freestyle, 4×100m medley), silver (200m freestyle, 100m butterfly)
Libby Lenton, joined her first swim team at age four. By age ten, she was one of Queensland’s top age groupers. In 1995, the family moved to Brisbane, where Libby started training under coach John Carew, mentor of Hall of Famer, Kieren Perkins. But in early 2002, Libby began training under coach Stephan Widmar.
Her progress under Widmar was rapid and explosive. Suddenly, the 18-year old girl who had never reached the podium at the state level, stood on the top step four times, for the 50 and 100m freestyle and 50 and 100m butterfly, at the Queensland Champs in January, 2003. This qualified her for the Australian Senior National Team.
She made her international debut in April at the inaugural Mutual of Omaha “Duel in the Pool” meet in Indianapolis. She beat Hall of Famer Jenny Thompson to win the 100m freestyle. She finished first in the 50m freestyle in 24.92, but she was disqualified for a false start. However, officials later ruled her start was fair and she was credited with setting a new Australian record and the first Australian to break 25 seconds.
Libby qualified for and swam in three events in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. She earned a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle and her 4x100m freestyle relay team made up of Libby, Petria Thomas, Jodie Henry and Alice Mills overtook Team USA on the final leg to win the gold in the event for the first time in 48 years!
Libby cemented her position among the world’s top swimmers in 2005. First at the Montreal FINA World Championships by reeling in gold in the 50m freestyle, silver in the 100m butterfly and two golds and a silver for the three relays. Back in Australia, she twice broke the world record in the 100m freestyle at the Telstra Australian Short Course Championships.
In 2006, it was on to Shanghai, for the Short Course World Championships, where she repeated her performance, won five of Australia’s twelve gold medals, as well as being named “Leading Female Swimmer of the Meet”.
Libby won five more gold medals at the 2007 FINA World Championships. This time, three individual, the 50 and 100m freestyle and the 100m butterfly as well as two relays, with the 4x100m freestyle relay in a record-breaking time of 3:35.48. A week later, at the third USA-Australia “Duel in the Pool” in Sydney, she led off the 4x100m mixed relay against Michael Phelps. Although Phelps beat her to the wall, her time of :52.99, broke the world record of Britta Steffens by nearly a third of a second. A race she says she’ll always remember. Four days later, on April 7, 2007, Libby married fellow swimmer, Luke Trickett and started swimming under the name Libby Trickett.
Her performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games brought her two gold, one silver and one bronze. She was part of the world record winning relay team, the 4x100m medley relay, that brought home the gold, and her 4x100m freestyle relay team took bronze. Individually, Trickett won a gold medal in the 100m butterfly and took silver in the 100m freestyle.
Libby briefly retired from swimming in 2009, at the age of 24, but decided to return to competition in 2010 to be part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team at the 2012 London Olympic Games, winning yet another gold, her fourth and final Olympic gold medal of her career. Libby retired in 2013 for the final time.
Libby gave birth to daughter Poppy in 2015 and struggled with the transition to motherhood. Trickett had struggled with depression throughout other times in her life as well. She had worked with sports psychologists and by seeking that advice and guidance, Libby says, that “the biggest lesson she learned was that it’s OK to ask for help and that help is really valuable.” Libby is currently Queensland’s Mental Health Ambassador.