Penny Heyns


Penny is a double Olympic gold medallist and motivational speaker.

Her name was splashed across the nation’s media when, in 1996, she became the first South African in 44 years to win an Olympic gold medal. That wasn’t the “golden girl’s” only historical achievement at those Games, however, as her victories in the 100m and 200m breaststroke saw her becoming the only woman to date to accomplish this unique double. Penny was born in Springs and, after serving as head girl of Amanzimtoti High School, left South Africa to study and train in Nebraska in the United States and eventually Canada.

During her career in the pool, she shattered a total of 14 world records, establishing herself as one of the world’s greatest breaststrokers. And since retiring from the sport, after collecting a bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Penny has poured her passion and dedication into business and public speaking as well as the publicarion of an autobiography in 2004. She has not only addressed South African audiences she has spoken internationally in the US, Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka and Dubai as well as in neighbouring African countries like Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.

It is Penny’s aim to inspire, motivate, empower and challenge all those she presents to to live a life of fulfilled potential.

Lunch Spot: Any place Italian