Four-Time Gold Medallist Betty Cuthbert Dies Aged 79

Hope Soto
August 8, 2017

The legacy of Betty Cuthbert was still keenly felt by every athlete to wear the green and gold, especially those competing now in London at the world championships who were moved to learn of the death of Australia's greatest athlete, Jess Trengove said.

Cuthbert was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969 and had spent much of the latter part of her life confined to a wheelchair.

John Bertrand, chairman of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, remembered Cuthbert as a ideal role model.

JOHN COATES, Australian Olympic Committee president - "Betty battled her illness for many years and showed tremendous courage, but more importantly she always managed to smile".

At just 18 years of age she won three gold medals at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay events.

The sight of Cuthbert pounding down the track to victory in her distinctive high-striding style with her mouth agape was among the most enduring images of the Melbourne Olympics.

She retired to the privacy and peace of her parent's commercial nursery in Ermington, the western Sydney suburb where she grew up. "She was easy to talk to, easy to approach and gave great guidance".

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"It's a very sad day, there's no doubt about it. Betty is an inspiration and her story will continue to inspire Australian athletes for generations to come", Freeman said.

It was there, she claimed her fourth and final Olympic gold medal after running a flawless 400m final.

One of Australia's greatest Olympians, Cuthbert was the country's first athlete inducted into the global track and field federation's Hall of Fame.

"She will be forever remembered as a legend of the sport and a trailblazer for our female athletes".

JANA PITTMAN, two-time 400m hurdles world champion (told Fox Sports): "She was an icon for our sport".

"Betty was the Golden Girl of the track and a national heroine". Four Olympic gold medals was a feat that went unsurpassed until 2004 when Ian Thorpe was at his peak.

Sydney 2000 Olympic Champion Cathy Freeman paid tribute, calling Betty Cuthbert an inspiration to and a role model. "I've had some twinges this morning", said Gosper.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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