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Bill Roycroft

Full name: James William George "Bill" Roycroft
Gender: Male
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
Weight: 159 lbs (72 kg)
Born: March 17, 1915 in Flowerdale, Victoria, Australia
Died: May 29, 2011 in Camperdown, Victoria, Australia
Country: AUS Australia
Sport: Equestrianism

Related Olympians: Father-in-law of Vicki Roycroft; Father of Barry Roycroft; Father of Wayne Roycroft; Father of James Roycroft.

Medals: 1 Gold, 2 Bronze (3 Total)

Biography

Bill Roycroft was born on a cattle farm in the foothills of Australia's Great Dividing Range. After leaving school at the age of 14 he worked in a succession of jobs, – as a breaker of wild horses, rabbit trapper, bicycle messenger, fruit packer, sheep shearer and farm labourer, – until he joined the Australian Army on the outbreak of war. He saw wartime service in New Guinea and at the end of the war was given a grant of farmland by the Australian government. He bought horses to work the farm and began to compete at local equestrian events. Slowly he built up his string of horses and began to achieve success, first locally then at national level. Overlooked for the 1956 Games he was already 45 when he made his Olympic debut in Rome but what happened there made him a legend in Australian sport.

The other three members of the Australian team had excelled on the cross-country phase of the three day event and filled the first three places in the individual event with only the show jumping phase to follow. The Aussies lead in the team event was so large that each of the three could knock every fence down and still win with ease. Rycroft however was in hospital after a crashing fall had left him with concussion, severe bruising and a broken collarbone. His Olympic Games was believed to be over.

On the morning of the show jumping phase Brian Crago's horse was found to be lame and, as three of the team had to finish the event to win a medal, Australia's hope's of a team medal appeared to be over.

On hearing this news Roycroft, against medical orders, discharged himself from hospital and helped by a course of pain killing injections and a pint of beer. He was lifted by his teammates onto his horse and, with the use of only his left arm to control his horse, proceeded to jump a flawless round and ensure an Australian victory. Amazingly this was merely the start of Roycroft's Olympic career and he competed at the next four celebrations winning two further bronze medals in the team event. His last medal, won on his final Games appearance in 1976, came when he was 61 years of age.

The Roycroft family's relationship with the Olympic Games was not restricted to Bill's exploits and sons Wayne, Barry and James all competed alongside their father on Australian teams. Later Wayne's wife Vicki also became an Olympian.

In 2000 the 85 year old Bill Roycroft had the honour of being one of the eight great Australian champions to carry the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.

Results

Men's Three-Day Event, Individual

Games Age City Sport Country Horse Phase Unit Rank PTS SJF STP CCJF CCTP JF TF
1960 Summer 45 Roma Equestrianism Australia Our Solo Final Standings 11 -118.83
1960 Summer 45 Roma Equestrianism Australia Our Solo Dressage 21 -114.51
1960 Summer 45 Roma Equestrianism Australia Our Solo Cross-Country 16 -4.32 0 37.60 -60 18.08
1960 Summer 45 Roma Equestrianism Australia Our Solo Jumping 1T 0.00 0.00 0

Mixed Three-Day Event, Individual

Games Age City Sport Country Horse Phase Unit Rank PTS R/P/F P SJF STP CCJF CCTP JF TF
1964 Summer 49 Tokyo Equestrianism Australia Eldorado Final Standings 7 32.20
1964 Summer 49 Tokyo Equestrianism Australia Eldorado Dressage 31 -65.00
1964 Summer 49 Tokyo Equestrianism Australia Eldorado Cross-Country 8 97.20 0 0 37.6 0.0 59.6
1964 Summer 49 Tokyo Equestrianism Australia Eldorado Jumping 1T 0.00
1968 Summer 53 Ciudad de México Equestrianism Australia Warrathoola Final Standings 15 -127.55
1968 Summer 53 Ciudad de México Equestrianism Australia Warrathoola Dressage 20 -84.00
1968 Summer 53 Ciudad de México Equestrianism Australia Warrathoola Cross-Country 17 -40.80 0 24.0 0 -64.8
1968 Summer 53 Ciudad de México Equestrianism Australia Warrathoola Jumping 8 -2.75 0 2,75
1972 Summer 57 München Equestrianism Australia Warrathoola Final Standings 6 29.60
1972 Summer 57 München Equestrianism Australia Warrathoola Dressage 2 -36.00
1972 Summer 57 München Equestrianism Australia Warrathoola Cross-Country 8 29.60
1972 Summer 57 München Equestrianism Australia Warrathoola Jumping 1T 0.00 0 0.00
1976 Summer 61 Montréal Equestrianism Australia Version Final Standings 16 -215.46
1976 Summer 61 Montréal Equestrianism Australia Version Dressage 19T -86.66
1976 Summer 61 Montréal Equestrianism Australia Version Cross-Country 19 -128.80 0 -1.6 -60 -67.2
1976 Summer 61 Montréal Equestrianism Australia Version Jumping 1T 0.00 0 0.00

Men's Three-Day Event, Team

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Horse Phase Unit Rank PTS
1960 Summer 45 Roma Equestrianism Australia AUS Our Solo Final Standings 1 -118.83
1960 Summer 45 Roma Equestrianism Australia AUS Our Solo Dressage 6 -345.01
1960 Summer 45 Roma Equestrianism Australia AUS Our Solo Cross-Country 1 non-scoring 364.40
1960 Summer 45 Roma Equestrianism Australia AUS Our Solo Jumping 3 -15.25

Mixed Three-Day Event, Team

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Horse Phase Unit Rank PTS
1964 Summer 49 Tokyo Equestrianism Australia AUS Eldorado Final Standings 7 32.20
1964 Summer 49 Tokyo Equestrianism Australia AUS Eldorado Dressage 9 -65.00
1964 Summer 49 Tokyo Equestrianism Australia AUS Eldorado Cross-Country 5 97.20
1964 Summer 49 Tokyo Equestrianism Australia AUS Eldorado Jumping 5T 0.00
1968 Summer 53 Ciudad de México Equestrianism Australia AUS Warrathoola Final Standings 3 -127.55
1968 Summer 53 Ciudad de México Equestrianism Australia AUS Warrathoola Dressage 11 -302.51
1968 Summer 53 Ciudad de México Equestrianism Australia AUS Warrathoola Cross-Country 3 non-scoring 24.10
1968 Summer 53 Ciudad de México Equestrianism Australia AUS Warrathoola Jumping 4 -31.25
1972 Summer 57 München Equestrianism Australia AUS Warrathoola Final Standings 4 29.60
1972 Summer 57 München Equestrianism Australia AUS Warrathoola Dressage 8 -163.00
1972 Summer 57 München Equestrianism Australia AUS Warrathoola Cross-Country 3T 170.80
1972 Summer 57 München Equestrianism Australia AUS Warrathoola Jumping 4T -30.00
1976 Summer 61 Montréal Equestrianism Australia AUS Version Final Standings 3 -215.46
1976 Summer 61 Montréal Equestrianism Australia AUS Version Dressage 7 -86.66
1976 Summer 61 Montréal Equestrianism Australia AUS Version Cross-Country 5 -128.80
1976 Summer 61 Montréal Equestrianism Australia AUS Version Jumping 1T 0.00