Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry appointed sport minister at age of 34
Africa’s most decorated Olympian Kirsty Coventry is Zimbabwe's new Minister of Youth Sport, Arts and Recreation.
The seven-time Olympic medal-winning swimmer was appointed to the 20-member cabinet by the president Emmerson Mnangawa, who won elections last July.
The 34-year-old is only the second woman in her country to serve in that post.
Various Sports Associations in Zimbabwe have hailed her appointment terming it a masterstroke.
Coventry's incredible sporting career stretches back to Sydney 2000 and included at five Olympic games before up to Rio 2016.
She won consecutive gold medals in the 200m backstroke at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
In Their Own Words: Coventry's delight at hearing Zimbabwe national anthem
In Their Own Words: Coventry's delight at hearing Zimbabwe national anthemA fun-filled introduction to sport inspired Kirsty Coventry's Olympic glory, which disrupted Australian and US dominance at Athens 2004.
With seven World championship titles and a record 14 African golds, she is also Africa’s most successful female swimmer.
A great leader
The 34-year-old has also had success out of the pool.
The vice president of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee is an IOC member and currently chairs the IOC Athletes Commission.
She also serves on the board of the World Anti-Doping Agency, and FINA’s athlete commission.
Coventry is a member of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission and a member of the Olympic Solidarity organisation.
She is a vice president of the International Surfing Association.
Zimbabwe’s golden girl runs an academy where she has been providing coaching and swimming lessons to children from deprived areas in her country.