Even as a 14 -year-old Gould took the world record in the 100m freestyle in 58.9 seconds, as 15 -year-old, she was the most successful swimmer at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. It was considered a female counterpart to the American swimmer Mark Spitz and won the gold in the 200 m and 400 m freestyle and 200 m layers each in world record time. She also won the silver medal in the 800 m freestyle and bronze in the 100m freestyle. The Australian teenager swam thus in the heart of Munich audience.
Shane Gould is still the only swimmer who held the world records simultaneously on all freestyle distances from 100 m to 1500 m. Overall, she swam 1971-1973 13 world records. She started her international career at the age of 13 years and ended her career after the Olympic Games in Munich at the age of only sixteen years. In 1977, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the international swimming sport.
At the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, she starred opposite Betty Cuthbert, Raelene Boyle, Dawn Fraser, Shirley Strickland de la Hunty and Debbie Flintoff -King is one of six outstanding women of the Australian sporting history that the torch with the Olympic Flame through the round of the Olympic Stadium wore before Cathy Freeman lit the flame.
The asteroid ( 25058 ) Shanegould was named after her.