wnol.info August 20 2017


Olympic legend Betty Cuthbert dies

August 20 2017, 02:08 | Van Peters

Magpie Brodie Grundy's controversial tackle on North Melbourne's Ben Brown during their round 20 clash on Saturday night

Magpie Brodie Grundy's controversial tackle on North Melbourne's Ben Brown during their round 20 clash on Saturday night

Australian sprinter Betty Cuthbert, the only athlete to have won the Olympic 100m, 200m and 400 m titles, has died aged 79 after battling multiple sclerosis for almost half a century, Athletics Australia said on Monday.

John Coates, who is an International Olympic Committee vice-president and head of Australia's OIympic governing body, described Cutbert as "the Golden Girl of the track and a national heroine".

"It's very sad to lose such a great champion".

"Betty was a legend of the sport and Team Australia extends our sympathies to her family and friends at this sad time", she said shortly after finishing sixth in the marathon.

She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years later and bravely fought the disease for nearly fifty years.

Her phenomenal athletic prowess made one of Australia's earliest sports superstars and inspired generations of young women.

Later that year, she won Olympic gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4x100 on home soil in Melbourne, becoming the "Golden Girl" of the Games.

She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1974 and battled the disease for many years after retiring from her sporting career.

Do you remember when Betty Cuthbert won gold?

Cuthbert was an inaugural member of the Athletics Australia Hall of Fame and she was inducted into the IAAF Hall of Fame in 2012.

"She always regarded that single gold medal of 1964 as a far greater triumph than any of her three in 1956".

She was an Olympic torch bearer at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and grew up in the city's western suburbs.

She broke two world records at that Olympic meet, running 11.4 seconds in the 100m and was part of the world record relay team also.

Cuthbert remained strongly religious throughout her life, a quality to which she attributes her fortitude in the face of adversity.

"Her feats on the track brought together Australians as one", Bertrand said.

"Betty was a true inspiration and role model to all Australians", he said in a statement. Only swimmer Ian Thorpe has won more gold medals.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, Prime Minister - "Rest in peace Betty Cuthbert - an inspiration and a champion on and off the track".



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