DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, October 1. SOUTH Africa's Penny Heyns, the 1996 Olympic champion in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, was in Dubai over the weekend to take part in the opening of a new club, Dubai Swim. Heyns established 14 world records during her illustrious career and, at one time, held global standards in the 50, 100 and 200 breast distances.
While Heyns has been revered for her talent in the pool, she is equally impressive in the way she handles herself – in unassuming fashion. Heyns has never taken her ability for granted. Instead, she has recognized how she has been fortunate to rise to the top of her sport. She also medaled at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, although she was nearing the end of her competitive career.
"I never had any idea that my career would go this far," Heyns told the Gulf News. "I thought of it purely out of a sense of responsibility – if I really believed that God gave me the talent to swim, then I had to use it to the best of my ability. That was the only thing that drove me."