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.
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?