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    Three Australian women athletes: Betty Cuthbert, Marlene Mathews and Norma Croker?, 29 November 1956, by Herald and Weekly Times, courtesy of National Library of Australia.
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Cuthbert, Betty (1938 - 2017)

AM, OBE, 2001 Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Born
20 April 1938
Merrylands, New South Wales, Australia
Died
7 August 2017
Western Australia, Australia
Occupation
Commonwealth or Empire Games Gold Medalist, Olympian and Track and Field Athlete
Website
http://www.sahof.org.au/hall-of-fame/member-profile/?memberID=56&memberType=legends

Summary

Betty Cuthbert was the first Australian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal on Australian soil. Nicknamed the 'Golden Girl' of Australian athletics, she was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 as an Athlete Member for her contribution to the sport of athletic. She was elevated to "Legend of Australian Sport" in 1994.

Betty Cuthbert was so unsure that she would make the Australian Olympic Games team in 1956, she bought tickets to attend the Games as a spectator.

Details

In 1956, at the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Betty Cuthbert became the first Australian athlete to win a gold medal on Australian soil. In fact, Cuthbert won gold in three track and field events at these Olympics: the 100 metres, 200 metres and the 4x100 metre relay. She made a winning return to form at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, taking gold in the 400 metres. She has achieved 16 world records. In the 1970s, Cuthbert was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and began actively campaigning for research funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Her autobiography, Golden Girl, has been printed in two editions.

In 1965, Cuthbert was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for athletics in New South Wales. She was later appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (1 January 1984), and awarded the Australian Sports Medal (8 February 2000).

Betty Cuthbert died on 7 August 2017. At her death, she was still the only Olympian to have won gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m and only Ian Thorpe (five) has won more gold for Australia.

Events

1956
Gold Medalist at the Melbourne Olympic Games - Athletics - 100m sprint, 200m sprint, 4 x 100m Relay
1960
Participated at the Rome Olympics
1962
Gold Medalist at Perth Empire and Commonwealth Games - Athletics - 4 x 110y Relay
1964
Gold Medalist at the Tokyo Olympic Games - Athletics - 400m event
2001
Inducted onto Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Sources used to compile this entry: Brasch, Nicolas, Great Australian Women in Sport, Heinemann, Port Melbourne (Vic.), 1997, 32 pp; Macklin, Robert, 100 great Australians, Currey O'Neil Ross, South Yarra, Vic., 1983, 248 pp.

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Digital resources

Title
Three Australian women athletes: Betty Cuthbert, Marlene Mathews and Norma Croker?
Type
Image
Date
29 November 1956
Creator
Herald and Weekly Times
Source
National Library of Australia

Details

Clare Land

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