Alice started swimming at 6 months - by age 5 she had won her first club meet and in doing so broke her first pool record. By the year 2000, Alice’s hard work and determination started paying dividends as she competed at her first Age Nationals in Perth, winning the 200m Individual Medley.
In 2002 at only 16 years of age, Alice made the Australian Swimming Team and was affectionately given the tag 'Pocket Rocket'. Her naming as the 'AIS Discovery of the Year', combined with success at several international competitions, capped off a remarkable year for Alice.
In 2003 the Pocket Rocket came of age. At the World Championships in Barcelona Alice finished with an heroic Silver medal in the 50m Freestyle annihilating the Commonwealth record. Alice then claimed a second Silver in the 200m Individual Medley and finished with an amazing third Silver in the 4 x 100m relay team.
In her first attempt at Olympic selection in 2004, Alice qualified in style, setting a new Commonwealth record in the Individual Medley in the process. Alice was selected for 4 Olympic events but captured the heart of the nation as the youngest member of the unforgettable world record breaking 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay quartet, re-writing history as the first Australian women to capture Gold in the event in nearly 50 years.
Alice was the undisputed star of the 2005 Telstra Australian Championships, taking her first Australian title in the 50 metres freestyle – making her the third fastest swimmer in history behind Olympic champion and world record holder Inge de Bruijn and Sweden's Theresa Alshammar.
Alice represents the new breed of Australian female swimmers. Her recent slew of post-Athens victories in a variety of individual and team events have cemented her as a versatile and determined athlete.
Alice’s enthusiasm and confidence will hold her in good stead as she gears up for the 2008 Beijing Olympics where there’s no doubt she’ll be aiming for the top once more.
Alice Tait travels from Victoria Australia