Ford, Michelle Jan (1962—)

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Ford, Michelle Jan (1962—)

Australian swimmer. Born in Sans Souci, Sydney, Australia, on July 15, 1962.

Won six Australian individual championships (in the 200-meter butterfly, 200-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyle), and one relay championship; won a gold medal in the Commonwealth games in Edmonton (1978) and Brisbane (1982); won the bronze medal in the 200-meter butterfly and the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle in the Moscow Olympics (1980).

By the age of 12, Australian swimmer Michelle Jan Ford had already broken a record, swimming the fastest-ever 100-yard freestyle in the world for her age. From that auspicious start, she went on to win six Australian individual championships in the 200-meter butterfly, 200-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyle, and one relay championship. She competed in two Commonwealth games, winning a gold medal in Edmonton in 1978 and another in Brisbane in 1982. Although Ford swam in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, it was at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, that she peaked, winning a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle and a bronze in the 200-meter butterfly. That same year, Ford won the first gold sport Australia Award as the best female athlete.