• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: IMP0176

Boyle, Raelene Ann

(1951 – )
  • Born 24 June, 1951, Melbourne Victoria Australia
  • Occupation Commonwealth or Empire Games Gold Medalist, Olympian, Track and Field Athlete


Raelene Boyle represented Australia at four Olympic games as a sprinter. She was appointed a Member of the British Empire on 15 June 1974 for services to athletics, and was named ABC Sportsperson of the Year in 1974. Named by the National Trust as one of ‘100 Living Treasures in 1998’, Raelene Boyle was an Olympic torchbearer at the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.


Raelene Boyle, daughter of Gilbert MacDonald and Irene Joy (née Wilkinson) Boyle was educated at Coburg High School. At 17 years of age she was selected to represent Australia in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. She won a silver medal in the 200-metre sprint and ran fourth in the 100m. She also won medals at the Munich (1972) and the Montreal (1976) Olympics. She did not complete in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

At the Montreal Games in 1976, Raelene Boyle was the first Australian woman to be given the honour of carrying the Australian flag into the opening ceremony. She finished fourth in the 100 metre final after a slow start and was disqualified for a false start in the 200 metre semi-final. Raelene Boyle had been favourite to win the gold medal in her favourite event. The electronic starting device registered a clean start, but the starter, Jack Fisher, recalled the athletes. He claimed Boyle had jumped the gun. Film of the incident later showed she hadn’t – even though she did move her shoulders.

Raelene Boyle completed in the Edinburgh (1970), Christchurch (1974), Edmonton (1978) and at Brisbane (1982) Commonwealth Games. After retiring from competitive athletics, she completed a horticulture course at the Victorian College of Agriculture and Horticulture (Burnley) and worked as a landscape gardener for the then Prahran Council. She has also been involved with coaching and television commentary.

Raelene Boyle was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996 and has since assisted in raising awareness of the disease, becoming a founding member of Sporting Chance Cancer Foundation in 1997.



  • 1968 - 1968

    Athletics – 200m Sprint Event

    Silver Medalist at the Mexico City Olympic Games
  • 1972 - 1972

    Athletics – 100m and 200m sprint events

    Silver Medalist at the Munich Olympic Games
  • 1976 - 1976
  • 2007 - 2007

    Appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

  • 1970 - 1970

    Athletics – 100m and 200m, 4 x 100m Relay

    Gold Medalist at Edinburgh Commonwealth Games
  • 1974 - 1974

    Athletics – 100m and 200m, 4 x 100m Relay

    Gold Medalist at Christchurch Commonwealth Games
  • 1982 - 1982

    Athletics – 400m

    Gold Medalist at Brisbane Commonwealth Games
  • 2001 - 2001

    Awarded a Centenary Medal ‘for service to Australian society through the sport of athletics’

  • 2000 - 2000

    Awarded an Australian Sports Medal for ‘outstanding contribution as a competitor (Athletics)’

  • 1974 - 1974

    Awarded The Order of the British Empire – Member (Civil) (Imperial) ‘in recognition of service to the sport of athletics’

Published resources

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Athletics Australia (1897 - )
  • Related Concepts
    • Commonwealth or Empire Games Gold Medallists