Dutch Olympian Pieter van den Hoogenband, now 39, on his visit to Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre last week.
THE only swimmer to beat both Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe in individual Olympic races, seven-time Olympic medallist and former Dutch swimming great, Pieter van den Hoogenband, stopped by Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre on Friday to 're-live' his amazing achievements.
He also left his hand and footprints in the 'Dive Into History' display, alongside many Aussie swimming legends.
The 39-year-old's visit fell a week before the 17th anniversary of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games which saw him win gold in the Men's 100m and 200m freestyle.
In the200m freestyle, he faced the world record holder, Australian youngster Ian Thorpe, favourite of the home crowd in Sydney.
In the semi-finals, Van den Hoogenband set a new world record but Thorpe countered with a time only 0.02 slower.
In an exciting final, Van den Hoogenband equalled his time from the semi-finals to win the gold medal.
In the 100m freestyle, he again set a world record in the semi-finals and won his second gold medal, defeating the 1992 and 1996 champion, Alexander Popov.
Van den Hoogenband won two more medals, both bronze, in the 50m freestyle and the 200m freestyle relay, in which he was the final swimmer.
An exhibition celebrating Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, 'Dive Into History' contains memorable moments of the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games World records set in the pool as well as costumes, signed shirts, medals and other fascinating memorabilia from the greats including Thorpe, Shane Gould and Geoff Huegill.
You can also watch video packages including unique time-lapse footage of the competition pool's movable bulkhead and other behind-the-scenes views as well as comparing your handprints with world record swimmers.
More info at www.aquaticcentre.com.au