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P.13812/12 Swimsuits (2), framed Fastskin sleeveless long body suits and swimming caps (2), 'Australian Swim Team Sydney XXVIII Summer Olympics', Speedo Memorabilia collection, polyester / polymide / rubber / timber / glass, signed by Susie O'Neill and Michael Klim, used by Speedo Australia Pty Ltd,. Click to enlarge.

Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Speedo swimwear memorabilia signed by Susie O’Neill and Michael Klim

This framed set of Sydney 2000 Olympics swimsuits and swimming caps signed by Susie O'Neill and Michael Klim forms part of the Speedo memorabilia collection used by Speedo Australia in its Head Office until 2018. Speedo is an internationally renowned and Australian born company that has been producing performance and lifestyle swimwear and accessories since 1928. The company has since established its reputation as the world's principal competitive swimwear designer and manufacturer and has been providing competition and training swimwear and accessories to the Australian Swim team and international athletes since the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Speedo has a rich company history which has been documented and accumulated for posterity in the Powerhouse collection.

Speedo's pride in company heritage is reflected in this Speedo memorabilia collection, with each item having been framed and displayed in Speedo's Head Office in Sydney to illustrate the breadth of the company's remit and its commitment to excellence for its staff and visiting clients. The collection primarily encompasses swimsuits, swimming caps, photographs and posters signed by Australian and international swimming champions to promote the longstanding success of the company and its dominance in providing the world?s latest innovations in competitive swimwear for the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Swimming Championships and Paralympics. Other items such as commemorative plaques and certificates and photographs of appreciation show Speedo's support and sponsorship of other elite supports including beach volleyball, water polo and triathlon as well as smaller scale national and community events such as the Australian Swimming Championship selection trials, surf life saving and children's water safety initiatives, thereby reflecting Speedo's mission to inspire people of all ages and abilities to swim. In addition, Speedo's concurrent focus on lifestyle and everyday leisurewear is demonstrated through examples of advertising photographs and posters. Overall this collection is an important record of Speedo marketing strategies post-1985 and the interior decoration of the Sydney Head Office prior to 2018.

The Speedo memorabilia collection is complemented by the Speedo archive which includes scrapbooks, catalogues, posters, newsletters, stickers, photographs, video footage and badges detailing the company's historical remit and marketing approach as well as the existing collection of Speedo swimwear from the 1930s to the present.

Vanessa Thorne and Glynis Jones, Curatorial, 2020

Speedo® the world's leading swimwear brand is passionate about life in and around the water.
From learn to swim through to swimming for fitness our mission is to inspire people to swim and we aim to do that by encouraging healthy activity of swimming.
Born in 1928 on and around Bondi, Speedo has natural affinities with the beach and the pool. We have swimwear and equipment for people of all ages to do all sorts of water activities.


Object No.


Object Statement

Swimsuits (2), framed Fastskin sleeveless long body suits and swimming caps (2), 'Australian Swim Team Sydney XXVIII Summer Olympics', Speedo Memorabilia collection, polyester / polymide / rubber / timber / glass, signed by Susie O'Neill and Michael Klim, used by Speedo Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2000-2018

Physical Description

Sleeveless full length swimsuits in dark blue with light green piping; swimming caps in yellow printed in black with "AUS" and five stars, the names "O'NEILL" and "KLIM", with the SPEEDO logo. autographed by Susie O'Neill and Michael Klim. Two plaques read "SUSIE O'NEILL/OLYMPIC GAMES/SYDNEY 2000" and "MICHAEL KLIM/OLYMPIC GAMES/SYDNEY 2000". Mounted in glass and timber frame.



By the 1980s most of the world's top competitive swimmers were competing in Speedos. In 1990 the Pentland Group in the UK purchased the licence for Speedo International and the manufacturing and distribution of Speedo Australia. A manufacturing and marketing arm was retained in Australia until 2001 when all manufacturing was transferred to Speedo International factories.

This swimsuit and swimming cap were designed by Speedo International, Nottingham, United Kingdom in 1997 and made by Speedo Australia, Sydney, Australia in 2000 for the Australian Swimming Team competing in the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. The swimsuits and caps were used and autographed by Susie O'Neill and Michael Klim. The swimsuits and caps have subsequently been used by Speedo Australia as a marketing tool for visiting clients through its framed display in the Sydney Speedo Head Office with other examples of historic and contemporary Olympic swimsuits, advertising and memorabilia signed by Australian and international athletes.



These swimsuits and swimming caps were framed by Speedo Australia staff to promote and celebrate company history. They were displayed in Speedo Australia's Head Office until 2018 to celebrate design innovation and the longstanding relationship between Speedo and Swimming Australia (1956-2016) and Speedo and the Australian Olympic Committee (ongoing sponsorship until 2028). In particular, the signed swimming caps and swim shorts worn by Susie O'Neill and Michael Klim have been framed to promote Australian Swimming champion success wearing Speedo.

Speedo launched its shark-skin based design FASTSKIN swimsuit at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. During this event, 13 out of 15 World Records were broken by swimmers wearing the suit. In addition, 83% of medal winners competed in the suit. Controversy arose when it was claimed the swimsuit gave the wearer a technical advantage over other competitors and there were calls to ban its use in the Olympic Games. However in the context of the evolution of competitive swim wear, design and technological innovations have always been devised to enhance the swimmers performance, the Fastskin is part of this development. In fact, Speedo had already presented their new suit to the world swimming body FINA and had it approved for use in the 2000 Olympics in November 1999. By the World Swimming Championships, held in May 2000, the suit was in mass production and available to all competitors, allaying fears about competitive advantage.


Credit Line

Gift of Speedo International Ltd, 2020

Acquisition Date

10 September 2020

Cite this Object


Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Speedo swimwear memorabilia signed by Susie O'Neill and Michael Klim 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 October 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Speedo swimwear memorabilia signed by Susie O'Neill and Michael Klim |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 October 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is one of the museum's most recent acquisitions.