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Former world record holder for the 200m butterfly long course and 100m butterfly short course, Jessicah Schipper has established herself as Australia's new Madam Butterfly, taking over the mantle from her childhood hero, Susie O'Neill.
Jess was a chronic asthma sufferer from birth and took up swimming at the age of four under doctor?s advice to improve her breathing. She began competing at the age of five in her local swimming competition and has now established herself as one of the golden girls of Australian swimming.
Competing at her first Olympic Games at Athens in 2004, Jess came away with a gold medal as a heat swimmer in the 4x100 medley relay and also placed 4th in the 100m butterfly.
With the goal of an individual medal in mind at her second Olympic Games, Jess showed guts and determination to win bronze in both the 100m and 200m Butterfly. After these stellar performances Jess gained a spot on the prestigious 4 x 100m Medley relay claiming gold in a World Record time.
Jess?s Olympic performances were built on years of hard work. In 2005 at the World Championships in Montreal, Jess made her mark on the international swimming stage. She claimed gold in both the 100m butterfly and the 4x100 medley relay, and won a controversial silver medal in the 200m butterfly. It was later shown that the winner touched ahead of Jess with only one hand, and subsequently should have been disqualified. To her credit, Jess didn?t enter into the debate and put the incident down to experience.
Having established herself as one of the world?s best butterfly swimmers, Jess went on to win gold medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2007 World Championships.
Out of the pool, Jess has been honoured with an Order of Australia for her contribution to swimming. Jess spends her time away from the pool with her husband Brett and enjoys donating her time to charity.
Jess is working hard to achieve her goal of individual gold at the 2012 London Olympics.