Even though she won three gold medals in front of her home fans at the 1956 Olympics, she was not confident of booking her place on the athletics squad at all – in fact, she had bought tickets to be a spectator at the Games, such was her uncertainty.
To this day, she is still the only Australian, male or female, to win three athletics gold medals at a single Olympic games.
It’s quite a feat, and given the depth of competition for spots on the track right around the world, it makes it even more incredible that a fresh-faced teenager could make the impression she did.
After taking the main prize in both the 100-metre and 200-metre races, defeating Christina Stubnick on both occasions before she then anchored the 4×100 relay team to gold, in one of Australia’s greatest sporting moments as the team outran Great Britain by just 0.2 of a second.
Cuthbert then participated at Rome in 1960, not able to win any medals before she came out of retirement at Tokyo in 1964 to win the 400 metres race.
As one of Australia’s best ever athletes she was honoured at the Sydney 2000 Games as one of the Olympic torch bearers and has also won multiple medals in the Commonwealth Games.
There is no question athletics in Australia was put on the map in no small part thanks to Betty Cuthbert.
Be sure to follow The Roar as we look back on some of the most memorable moments in Olympic history – be they weird and wacky or brilliant and significant – and count down the days until the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.
We are just several months away from the begging of the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020. Preparation is in full swing, sports facilities are being prepared or are already ready handed over and the Olympic village is almost brought to brilliance. Most of the work has already been done and everything is almost ready for […]