Alice Tait (nee Mills), the Aussie sprinter who had her own Olympic medal-winning career after carrying Inge De Bruijn's clothes basket off the deck as a young girl volunteer at Sydney 2000, has retired officially.
The Queenslander, described by her federation today as "an all-round nice girl", first swam for Australia in 2002 at 15, taking gold as a member of the national 4x100m freestyle quartet at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in England.
Coached by Shannon Rollason, Mills raced at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games as well as two world titles and three Commonwealth Games.
At Athens 2004 she joined Libby Lenton (later Trickett), Petria Thomas and Jodie Henry as champions in the 4x100m free, the first gold for the Dolphins since Dawn Fraser led the green and gold home to victory in 1956 in Melbourne. In Beijing four years on, it was bronze in the same relay event with Melanie Schlanger, Trickett and Cate Campbell.
At the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Mills met Gregor Tait, the Scotsman who claimed the 200m backstroke crown, and a new chapter in life was about to begin. The couple are now married.
Back in 2000, Mills was one of the young girls carrying the kit off the deck and placing it for collection as races got underway. She was on duty the day De Bruijn (NED) stepped up to claim one of three Olympic gold medals in Sydney.
Tait announced her own decision. "It's amazing how light you feel when u make a decision and the weight of the world lifts off your shoulders...," tweeted the student nurse.
An Australian federation statement issued a few days after Tait's decision was posted on Twitter, read: "On behalf of Swimming Australia we would like to thank Alice for her dedication and positive attitude to the sport. Her smiling face will be dearly missed and we know that the many friends Alice has made throughout the years will be sad to see her go.
"We wish Alice all the best for her post-swimming career and life with husband Gregor Tait and we hope that Alice will look back fondly on her many years as a part of the Australian Swim Team."