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Sport in Melbourne

Melbourne is the capital of Aussie sport and a true sporting city. Much is centred around the MCG complex which has the Rod Laver and Margaret Court tennis arenas too. The G as it is known has superb statues of Australia’s sporting heroes and a museum which I intend to visit at a dull point in play.

One statue is of Betty Cuthbert who won 3 gold medals at 100m, 200m and 100m relay in the 1956 Olympiad here in Melbourne.

In 1968 Australia’s golden girl with a distinctive running style of knees pumping and mouth open contracted MS but she bore it bravely only dying in August of this year.

I am rather interested in these post war female athletes, Another was the Dutch Fanny Blankers -Koen. Mother of two, “The Flying Housewife” won 4 medals in the 1948 Olympiad and set a world record aged 33 in the Pentathlon.

It occurred to me that but for the odd statue outside football stadia we do not honour our sporting heroes properly in the UK. There is no national sport museum nor statues to our greatest female athlete Mary Rand nor to Ann Packer, Anita Lonsborough, Ann Jones or Virginia Wade.

I  can hear the Jessica Ennis lobby taking issue but we are talking historic athletes here. Besides Mary Rand medalled in track and long jump which elevates her ahead of Dame Kelly Holmes and how much prejudice did these athletes have to suffer?

About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts

1 Comment on Sport in Melbourne

  1. The National Rust // December 29, 2017 at 6:13 pm //

    As a reader of the Rust, ex leader of the Lib Dems and a competitor at 200m in the Tokyo games I had the honour of meeting the Golden Girl who also won gold there. 4 years later those powerful propelling legs were in a wheelchair. She never asked for sympathy nor shirked a fight and was an inspiration to one and all. DMC

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