Sports

Olympic Legend Betty Cuthbert Has Passed Away

Olympic Legend Betty Cuthbert Has Passed Away

Betty Cuthbert, the only runner to win Olympic gold medals in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter sprints, has died following a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

Cuthbert instead punched her own ticket to fame, winning the 100m and 200m double and as a part of the victorious 4x100m relay team.

A nine-time world record holder, Cuthbert was Australia's inaugural inductee into the IAAF Hall of Fame and a hero of modern-day greats such as Cathy Freeman, the face of the Sydney Games.

She returned to the public eye when the Olympic Games were hosted by her home town of Sydney in 2000 and was one of the bearers of the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony.

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

"She loved the country and we loved her". The result ensured Cuthbert became the first Australian to win three gold medals at the same Olympic Games.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and a vast array of Olympic athletes paid tribute to Cuthbert, who was born in western Sydney in 1938. "She was easy to talk to, easy to approach and gave great guidance".

Australian great Betty Cuthbert has been remembered before the start of action at the athletics world championships in London.

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He was 23 at the time, while Cuthbert - who died in Australia overnight - was just 18. Two years later, she focused on the 400 and won gold in that event at the 1964 Olympics. "I'm so happy I got to meet such a tremendous and gracious role model, and Olympic champion".

The multitide of emotional messages show the incredible impact Cuthbert had on Australian athletics and sport.

Shorten, likewise, said Cuthbert would "forever be a golden girl".

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

Swimmer Ian Thorpe is the only Australian to claim more Olympic gold medals, with five.

"Rest in peace Betty Cuthbert - an inspiration and a champion on and off the track", he posted on his official Twitter account.

"It was the only flawless race I have ever run", she later said of that victory.


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