Kirsty Coventry
Kirsty Leigh Coventry
BornKirsty Leigh Coventry
(1983-09-16) September 16, 1983 (age 38)
Alma materDominican Convent High School, Auburn University, Alabama, US.
  • Swimmer
OrganizationKirsty Coventry Academy
Spouse(s)Tyrone Seward
Parent(s)Rob Coventry (father),
Lyn Coventry (mother)
RelativesLauren Coventry (Sister)

Kirsty Leigh Coventry is a Zimbabwean swimmer and was appointed the Minister of Youth, Sports, and Recreation in 2018. Kirsty won several medals in recent Olympics over the years. She made history at the Sydney Olympic games by winning several medals and becoming the most successful Zimbabwean athlete at the Olympics. In 2018 she was Appointed Chairperson For International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission.

In 2015, Kirsty and her spouse Tyrone Seward founded a Kirsty Coventry Academy, a non-profit organization that provides swimming lessons to children, adults, and coaches.


Coventry was born on 16 September 1983 in Harare. After having completed part of her studies at Dominican Convent High School, Kirsty got a full scholarship to further her education at Auburn University in Alabama where she graduated with a Bachelor of Human Science Hotel and Restaurant Management.[1] The swimming career of Kirsty benefited immensely from the state of the art facilities provided at Auburn[2][3]

The Rise to Stardom and Major Successes

At Auburn Coventry managed to get into the school's swimming team. She first shot to prominence in the Commonwealth games in 2002 held in Manchester where she clinched a gold medal in the 200-metre individual medley event[4] This was after Kirsty then 16,[3] had been part of the Zimbabwe Olympic team that had failed to make an impact in the Sydney games and not won a medal. At the Athens games, Coventry made the headlines by winning three medals namely gold, silver and bronze.[4] In the 2008 edition of the Olympic games, she also managed to retain her gold title in the 200 m backstroke.[1] Coventry also added four silver and another bronze to her medals tally bringing the sum total to 7 medals; 2 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze. Coventry has also won three long course world titles, winning the 100 and 200 m backstroke in 2005 and her specialty event, the 200 m backstroke in 2009. At the 2008 short course World Championships, she triumphed in four events[1]


2004 Olympic games- Athens, Greece

  • Gold 200m backstroke
  • Silver
  • Bronze

2008 Olympic games- Beijing, China

  • Gold 200m backstroke
  • Silver 400m Individual Medley
  • Silver 100m backstroke
  • Silver 200m Individual Medley.

2011 All-Africa Games - Maputo, Mozambique

  • Gold in the 200 m IM (2:13.70)
  • Gold in the 400 m IM (4:44.34)
  • Gold in the 100 m backstroke (1:00.86 CR)
  • Gold in the 200 m backstroke (2:12.40)
  • Silver in the 100 m butterfly (1:02.20)
  • Silver in the 4x100 m medley (4:24.01)
  • Silver in the 4x100 m freestyle (3:57.81)
  • Silver in the 4x200 m freestyle[5]

2015 All-Africa Games- Congo Brazzaville

  • Gold in the 100m backstroke (1:01.15)[6]

African Union Sports Council 2015 Region 5 Awards

  • Sportswoman of the Year-won[7]

Personal life

Coventry is married to a long time boyfriend Tyrone Seward who also doubles as her manager. The two were first married in a traditional ceremony in which Tyrone paid lobola to the Coventry family. The traditional ceremony was then followed by a wedding[8]

Appointment as Chairperson

In January 2018 Kirsty Coventry was appointed as the Chairperson of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athlete's Commission. Coventry had been a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission since 2012 and took over from outgoing chairperson, United States ice hockey player Angela Ruggiero. Coventry became the third successive female IOC Athletes’ Commission chair after Ruggiero and German fencer Claudia Bokel and the first chair from Africa after Namibia’s Frankie Fredericks as well as the first African woman chairperson. Kirsty Coventry Appointed Chairperson For International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission

Video Gallery

Kirsty Coventry - The highest number of Olympic Medals in African History
Beijing 2008 Final


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kirsty Coventry, Retrieved: July 10, 2014
  2. The Person Retrieved July 10, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kirsty Coventry Bio, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: July 21, 2015
  4. 4.0 4.1 Robert Mutsauki, Athens 2004: The inside story, The Herald, Published: June 1, 2012, Retrieved: July 10, 2014
  5. KIRSTY COVENTRY, Arena, Retrieved: July 10, 2014
  6. Kirsty grabs gold for Zim, Herald, Published: September 10, 2015, Retrieved: September 10, 2015
  7. ,[ Manyuchi, Coventry nominated for AUSC awards], Daily News, published: June 10, 2016, retrieved: June 10, 2016
  8. Kirsty Coventry ties the knot, DailyNews, Published: August 12, 2013, Retrieved: July 10, 2014
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