Dawn Fraser


Dawn Fraser

Living legend of sport, champion on justice and cancer survivor

News: Google News "Dawn Fraser"

News: September 2006 : Dawn was interviewed on Enough Rope with Andrew Denton

Dawn Lorraine Fraser, AO, MBE, (born September 4, 1937) is an Australian champion swimmer.

She was born in Balmain, a suburb of Sydney, into a working class family. She was spotted at an early of 12 by Sydney coach Harry Gallagher swimming at the local sea baths.

Known for her politically incorrect behaviour or larrikin character as much as her athletic ability, Fraser won eight Olympic medals, including four golds, and six Commonwealth Games gold medals. In October 1962 she became the first woman to swim the 100 metres in less than a minute. It was eight years after she retired before her record was broken.

In 1965 Fraser retired from swimming, after the Australian Swimming Union placed her under a 10 year ban. Things had come to a head when, at the Tokyo Olympics, she marched in the opening ceremony against their wishes, wore an old swimsuit (which angered sponsors) because it was more comfortable, and, it was alleged, she climbed a flagpole in Emperor Hirohito’s palace, taking the Olympic flag (later proved false). The ban was lifted four years later.

Fraser then became a publican, swimming coach and in 1988 became a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the New South Wales seat of Balmain. She was named Australian of the Year in 1964, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1967 and on June 8, 1998, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

She was one of the bearers of the Olympic Torch at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She carried the Olympic Torch at the stadium, as one of the runners for the final segment, before the lighting of the Olympic Flame.

She was one of the contestants in a 2005 season of the Seven Network's Dancing with the Stars.

In 2005, she was seriously embarrassed when the retirement investment company that she and Paul Cronin had been advertising on television for some years, collapsed and the directors fled, owing their investors millions of dollars. Fraser and Cronin made a public apology for their unwitting contribution to the financial plight of many people.

Dawn is a high profile supporter of the Wests Tigers rugby league Team and a member of the team's board of directors. Prior to its merger with Western Suburbs she had supported Balmain Tigers, having lived for many years in the suburb of Balmain.

Dawn Fraser has one daughter, Dawn Lorraine (named after her swimming friend, Lorraine Crapp).


Swimming achievements
1956 Melbourne Olympic Games
100 metres freestyle - gold medal
400 metres freestyle - silver medal
4 x 100 metres freestyle relay - gold medal
1958 Cardiff Commonwealth Games
110 yards (100.58 metres) freestyle - gold medal
4 x 110 yards (4 x 100.58 metres) freestyle relay - gold medal
1960 Rome Olympic Games
100 metres freestyle - gold medal
4 x 100 metres freestyle relay - silver medal
4 x 100 metres medley relay - silver medal
1962 Perth Commonwealth Games
110 yards freestyle - gold medal
440 yards freestyle - gold medal
4 x 110 yards (4 x 100.58 metres) freestyle relay - gold medal
4 x 110 yards (4 x 100.58 metres) medley relay - gold medal
1964 Tokyo Olympic Games
100 metres freestyle - gold medal
4 x 100 metres freestyle relay - silver medal.
Australian Championships
110 yards freestyle: 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964
220 yards freestyle: 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964
440 yards freestyle: 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964
110 yards butterfly: 1960, 1962
220 yards medley: 1959
4 x 110 freestyle relay: 1957, 1958, 1959, 1964
4 x 110 yards medley relay: 1955, 1964 (Credit: Wikipedia)

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