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Susan Jean (Susie) Maroney OAM (born 15 November 1974 in Cronulla, New South Walesmarker) is an Australian former marathon swimmer.

Swimming career

Maroney was born with cerebral palsy. She initially kept her condition secret, but in 2007 she and her mother Pauline revealed her condition on the TV talk show Enough Rope. She was four years old when she started swimming, and by the time she was seven years old she was competing in swimming carnivals. Before that she only competed in short distance events. After turning 13 years old she came to realise that she could do long swims. After failing to graduate from high school she pursued her vocation.

She was first recognised as a long-distance swimmer in 1989 when she achieved third place in the Australian Marathon Swimming Championship for Women, aged 14. In 1990 she became the first person to swim from Manly, New South Walesmarker to Darling Harbourmarker and back again in seven hours. That same year she also broke the speed record for swimming the English Channelmarker, with the help of her mentor Des Renford.

In 1999, Maroney was admitted to hospital after suffering a severe asthma attack following a 675 lap swim for charity. Shortly after that she was arrested for driving under the influence, and although the charge was upheld, no conviction was recorded. She later admitted she had suffered a mental breakdown at that time, and was treated for exhaustion. She retired from swimming on 23 February 2003, officially ending her career by swimming from the Sydney Opera Housemarker to Manlymarker.

Honours and awards

In 1989, 1990 and 1991, Maroney was awarded the Advance Australia Award. In 1991 she was awarded the Channel 10 Young Achievers Sport Award and in 1993 the Order of Australia Medal. She also received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the New South Wales Government in 1997; the same year she was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for her accomplishments. In 1996 she was awarded the Victorianmarker Young Achiever of the Year, by the Asthma Foundation.

Achievements

  • Three time winner of the Manhattan Islandmarker swim race in years 1991, 1992 and 1994.
  • Fastest female two way English Channelmarker Crossing (England/France/England)in 1991 at age 17 in time of 17 h 14 mins.
  • At age 22, the first person to swim the 180km (112 mile) Florida Straits from Cuba to the United States (12 May 1997).
  • Swam a record 197 km (122 mile) from Mexicomarker to Cubamarker, covering the longest distance ever swum without flippers in open sea, in 38 hours and 33 minutes (1 June 1998).
  • Completed 160km swim from Jamaica to Cuba (15 September 1999).


Personal life

Susie Maroney is the daughter of Norm Maroney, former Assistant Commissioner of New South Wales Police. Her brother Michael is a former police officer and a junior triathlon champion. Her twin brother Sean, also a triathlete, died in 2002 after falling from a balcony in Honolulumarker.

She gave birth to a daughter, Paris Seana Maroney, on 19 June 2008. The baby's father, Maroney's estranged husband Robert Daniels, engaged a solicitor to legally challenge her name because it excluded his surname.

References

  1. Susie and Pauline Maroney, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, 6 August 2007.


External links




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