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Michelle Smith

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexFemale
Full nameMichelle Marie•Smith (-De Bruin)
Used nameMichelle•Smith
Born16 December 1969 in Rathcoole County (IRL)
Measurements160 cm / 71 kg
NOC(s) Ireland

Biography

By a wide margin, Michelle Smith is both the most successful Irish Olympian as well as the most controversial Irish Olympian. After fairly unremarkable appearances at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, Michelle Smith was now coached by her husband, former Dutch discus thrower Erik de Bruin. She had made a breakthrough at the 1995 European Championships, winning two titles and three medals in all, the first ever for an Irish woman. Her sudden improvement in performance immediately caused various doping rumours, which could not be substantiated. With her husband being suspended for doping use in 1993, these rumours persisted throughout the Atlanta Games, where Smith won four medals, including titles in both medley events and the 400 m freestyle. Her title in the latter event was also controversial because the Americans had lodged a protest claiming Smith had been entered the race after the deadline, but the protest was not upheld. Smith won two more European titles in 1997, before her career came to a sudden halt in January 1998. In an out-of-competition drug test, she handed in a urine sample that had been tampered with. This was considered to be equal to a positive sample, and she was suspended for four years, effectively ending her career.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1988 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) 100 metres Backstroke, Women Olympic 27 Representing Ireland    
  200 metres Backstroke, Women Olympic 17
  200 metres Individual Medley, Women Olympic 26
  400 metres Individual Medley, Women Olympic 25
1992 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) 200 metres Backstroke, Women Olympic 35 Representing Ireland    
  200 metres Individual Medley, Women Olympic 32
  400 metres Individual Medley, Women Olympic 26
1996 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) 400 metres Freestyle, Women Olympic 1 Gold Representing Ireland    
  200 metres Butterfly, Women Olympic 3 Bronze
  200 metres Individual Medley, Women Olympic 1 Gold
  400 metres Individual Medley, Women Olympic 1 Gold

Other participations

Games Role Details
1992 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony Representing Ireland    

Olympic family relations

Special Notes