Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Four-Time Gold Medallist Betty Cuthbert Dies Aged 79

Tributes are pouring in for Australia's four-time Olympic gold medallist Betty Cuthbert ANITA JONES FAIRFAX Tributes are pouring in for Australia's four-time Olympic gold medallist Betty Cuthbert
Jan Ortega | 08 August, 2017, 00:09

Australia's sports fraternity is saluting sprinting's golden girl Betty Cuthbert, who has died aged 79 with an Olympic feat still unmatched.

Gosper, 83, is best known in Australia for his time as an International Olympic Committee vice-president.

"It's a very sad day, there's no doubt about it", said Freeman.

"Athletics Australia is saddened to confirm the passing of Olympic legend Betty Cuthbert, Our thoughts with her family & friends", the sport's governing body said in a statement Monday morning.

But with cruel irony she would lose the power of her legs are contracting multiple schlerosis in 1969 before defying the illness for almost 50 years, albeit confined to a wheelchair.

Flying the Australian flag, Cuthbert rose to fame at just 18 after taking home three gold medals in her Olympic debut at the 1956 Melbourne games in the 100 metres, 200 metres (world record) and 4x100 metres relay events.

The multitide of emotional messages show the incredible impact Cuthbert had on Australian athletics and sport. "She was just a great person".

Elizabeth Cuthbert was an inaugural inductees of the IAAF Hall of Fame in 2012 in Barcelona.

Cuthbert set four world records in 1958, but injury was to hamper her campaign at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and she retired for 18 months immediately afterwards. "It was this faith that kept her going for so long and through the most hard times".

"I'm so happy I got to meet such a tremendous and gracious role model".

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

"I once as asked Betty how she would like to be remembered and she said "I never want to be forgotten.' Her triumphs on the athletic track will make sure she will always be remembered as the 'Golden Girl" of 1956 and the wonderful comeback to win the 400m in Tokyo in 1964".

Cuthbert instead punched her own ticket to fame, winning the 100m and 200m double and as a part of the victorious 4x100m relay team. "I think there is a reason why I have MS and that is to inspire other people who are suffering from the disease", she said.

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