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Athletes

Alicia
Coutts
AustraliaAustralia, AUS
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
14 September 1987
Height
176 cm
Weight
69 kg
Marital status
Married
Family
Husband Steve
Other names
Alicia Hardy
Residence
Canberra, ACT, AUS
Languages
English

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age two.
Why this sport?
She wanted to swim in her neighbour's pool.

General Interest

Nicknames
Couttsie (swimming.org.au, 16 Jun 2010)
Hobbies
Shopping, going to the movies. (swimming.org.au, 2014)
Hero / Idol
Australian swimmer Susie O'Neill. (swimming.org.au, 16 Jun 2010)
Injuries
She suffered a serious shoulder injury in late 2014. (olympictalk.nbcsports.com, 10 Apr 2015)

She suffered a hand injury in October 2014 but continued to train and compete despite being hampered by the problem. (smh.com.au, 13 Oct 2014)

Bowel problems required surgery in 2007 and again in 2009, causing her to miss the world championships that year. (aliciacoutts.com.au, 2010)

Glandular fever prevented her from competing at the 2006 Commonwealth Games selection trials. (NOC, 14 Jul 2008)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Success isn't final, failure isn't fatal, it's courage that counts." (swimming.org.au, 16 Jun 2010)
Awards and honours
She was inducted into the Australian Path of Champions in 2014. The Path of Champions recognises the achievements of Australia's top athletes. (swimswam.com, 21 Oct 2014)

She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] in the 2014 Australia Day Honours list. Her fellow 4x100m gold medallists from the 2012 Olympic Games in London also received the honour. (insidethegames.biz, 26 Jan 2014)

She was named the 2012 Australian Institute of Sport Athlete of the Year [shared with sailor Tom Slingsby]. (swimming.org.au, 17 Nov 2012)

She was named the 2010 and 2012 Australia Swimmer of the Year. (Swimming Australia, 24 Nov 2012; aliciacoutts.com.au, 17 Nov 2011)

She was named 2008 Australian Institute of Sport Female Swimmer of the Year. (ausport.gov.au, 18 Jul 2012)
Other information
RETIREMENT
She retired from competitive swimming in October 2016. "From a little girl who had a dream to be an elite swimmer, to my final race in Rio [2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro] I wouldn't change a thing about my career and I am so proud of everything my team and I managed to achieve over the years." A week after her retirement she announced that she was pregnant with her first child, due in May 2017. (Instagram profile, 10 Nov 2016; swimswam.com, 31 Oct 2016)

LONDON 2012
She claimed five medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, joining Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould with the most medals won by an Australian at a single edition of the Olympic Games. (theaustralian.com.au, 05 Aug 2012)

SWIMMING FOR HER FATHER
Her father Gary died from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma when she was seven years old, after a seven year battle with the disease. Her family sometimes struggled financially during his illness and swim coach Dave Urquhart trained Alicia for over a decade for free, developing her into an elite swimmer. "He became a surrogate father [to her]," said Alicia's mother Julie. When Alicia was five her father told her "you'll go to an Olympics one day" and she says she has swum for him ever since, realising his belief in 2008 when she competed at the Olympic Games in Beijing. (heraldsun.com.au, 24 Jul 2011)

SURGERY
In July 2007 she had major abdominal surgery for an interception of the bowel [doctors removed 15cm of her bowel and in the process found a benign tumour] which put her out of the pool for several months. Following the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, she says she returned to training too soon and exacerbated the problem, requiring abdominal surgery again in March 2009. Following the first surgery in 2007 she struggled to return to her optimal competitive weight, which took a mental toll. "It was just a daily battle. I'd come home and I'd just cry because I'd be like 'why am I doing this?'" (swimming.org.au, 16 Jun 2010; heraldsun.com.au, 24 Jul 2011)