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Betty Cuthbert

Full name: Elizabeth Alyse "Betty" Cuthbert
Gender: Female
Height: 5-6.5 (169 cm)
Weight: 126 lbs (57 kg)
Born: April 20, 1938 in Merrylands, New South Wales, Australia
Affiliations: ?, Victoria, (AUS)
Country: AUS Australia
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 4 Gold (4 Total)

Biography

Australian Elizabeth "Betty" Cuthbert won two gold medals in the individual track sprints (100 and 200 metres) and a third gold in the 400 metre relay in at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The 18-year-old was instantly acclaimed as a national heroine by the home Australian crowd, and was nicknamed the "Golden Girl". Injury prevented her from doing well at the 1960 Games but she came back to win the 400 metres in 1964 at Tokyo and claim her fourth Olympic gold medal, which she regarded as her greatest win. She is the only Olympic sprinter, man or woman, to have won gold medals in the 100 metres, 200 metres, and 400 metres. At the British Empire and Commonwealth Games she won a gold medal in the 4×110 yards relay (with Joyce Bennett and the non-Olympians Brenda Cox and Glenys Beasley) in 1962 and silver medals in the 220 yards as well as in the 4×110 yards relay (with Marlene Mathews-Willard and the non-Olympians Kay Johnson and Wendy Hayes) in 1958. In the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games 100 yards Cuthbert finished fourth and in the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games 220 yards she finished fifth, but in the 100 yards she was eliminated in the semi-finals. She set or equalled 18 world records between 1956 and 1964 over 60 metres, 100 yards, 220 yards, 400 metres, and in the 4×100 and 4×220 relays. In 1964 she was awarded the prestigious Helms Award for her contributions to sport. Sadly for such a fine athlete, she later was afflicted with multiple sclerosis, having first been diagnosed with that disease in 1979. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, aided by a wheelchair, she was one of several Australian women who carried the Olympic Flag at the Opening Ceremony.

Personal Bests: 100 – 11.4 (1956); 200 – 23.1y (1960); 400 – 52.01 (1964).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Women's 100 metres Australia AUS 1 Gold
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Women's 200 metres Australia AUS 1 Gold WR
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay Australia AUS 1 Gold WR
1960 Summer 22 Roma Athletics Women's 100 metres Australia AUS 4 h4 r2/4
1964 Summer 26 Tokyo Athletics Women's 400 metres Australia AUS 1 Gold OR

Women's 100 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Australia Final 1 11.5 11.82 4
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Australia Semi-Finals Heat One 2 QU 12.0 12.08
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Australia Round One Heat Three 1 QU/OR 11.4 11.72
1960 Summer 22 Roma Athletics Australia Quarter-Finals Heat Four 4 12.0 12.18
1960 Summer 22 Roma Athletics Australia Round One Heat Four 2 QU 12.1 12.21

Women's 200 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Australia Final 1 WR 23.4 23.55 5
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Australia Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 23.6 23.75
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Australia Round One Heat One 1 QU 23.5 23.60

Women's 400 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1964 Summer 26 Tokyo Athletics Australia Final 1 OR 52.0 52.01 2
1964 Summer 26 Tokyo Athletics Australia Semi-Finals Heat One 2 QU 53.8
1964 Summer 26 Tokyo Athletics Australia Round One Heat One 3 QU 56.0

Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Australia AUS Final 1 WR 44.5 44.65 3
1956 Summer 18 Melbourne Athletics Australia AUS Round One Heat One 1 QU/WR 44.9 45.00
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