After stepping onto the world stage as the youngest Para swimmer at just 13 years of age, two-time world champion and three-time gold medallist Tiffany Thomas Kane OAM has hung up her swimsuit after seven years of outstanding achievements.
The Sydney native burst onto the Para swimming elite scene in 2015, when she set a new world record in the 50m Breaststroke (SB6) at the 2015 Australian Swimming Championships. Her incredible swim earned her a place on the Australian team for that year’s IPC Swimming World Championships where she would make her international debut as the youngest Australian para swimmer to compete at the world championships.
Taking to Instagram, Tiffany announced the retirement news.
“So today is the day where I announce my RETIREMENT from swimming,” she said.
“This sport has taught me so much about the person I am. It was never about the results but more the love I had for the sport and the opportunity it gave me which I never thought I’d achieve.
“A gold medallist Paralympian, world record holder, OAM recipient, world champion. If someone told me I was going to become that when I was young I wouldn’t of believed them. But to achieve that, it was the people behind the scenes who really pushed me to get to where I wanted to be. My coaches, mentor squad, teammates, friends and family plus so many more gave me the chance to achieve my dream.”
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At the 2015 World Championships Tiffany competed in six events and medalled in four of them, including a world record breaking swim in the 100m Breaststroke (SB6). The following year at the Australian Swimming Championships she took out the Women’s 50 breaststroke multi-class, setting a new world record for the 56 Classification.
Selected onto the Australian Team for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Tiffany continued to succeed on the world stage when she won gold in the 100m breaststroke (SB6) and a trio of bronze medals in the 50m butterfly (S6), the 50m freestyle (S6) and the 200m individual medley (SM6).
The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholar, who started swimming at age three at the suggestion of her doctors, went on to represent Australia at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where she just missed out on a podium finish, placing fourth in both the 50m Freestyle (S8) and 50m Butterfly (S7).
Returning to the World Para Swimming Championship in 2019 in London, Tiffany claimed her second world champion title winning the 100m Breaststroke (SB7).
Tiffany’s performance at the 2021 Australian Swimming Trials secured her ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Games; her second Paralympic Games. At Tokyo, a brilliant final freestyle leg saw the then 20-year-old repeat her medal performance from Rio, earning a bronze in the women’s 200m individual medley – SM7 final.
“I had so many dreams to achieve,” Tiffany said of her retirement news.
“From a young innocent scared kid to a Paralympian, I certainly can say my career has been great! I leave swimming at the time I believe is best but certainly have a story to say.
“I’m nervous and excited for my next journey but I’ll always have that touch of swimming with it too.”
NSWIS congratulates Tiffany on her outstanding career and wishes her all the best for the next chapter.
By Caitlin Glanville, NSW Institute of Sport