Basil Dickinson

Basil Dickinson competes in the triple jump at the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games

Athlete Biography

1915 - 2013

Basil Dickinson was one of 33 athletes to compete in the Australian Team at the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games. He was one of six athletes in the track and field section of the team, and he competed in the triple jump alongside his teammate Jack Metcalfe.

In 1935, Metcalfe broke the triple jump world record and Dickinson came close to doing the same. The pair went into the 1936 Games ranked as the first and second triple jumpers in the world but they weren't able to hold these ranks on the Olympic stage. Metcalfe was Australia’s sole medallist at the Games with bronze and Dickinson finished 16th with a jump of 14.48m.

It took 41 days for the amateur team to travel to Berlin in 1936. Dickinson recounted later the uncertainty of being only 21 without coaches the Australians were only used to grass tracks so injuries were a problem when training. Yet he had no regrets from the wonderful experience.

At the 1938 Empire Games Dickinson won bronze medals in both the long jump and triple jump. World War II meant that there were no Olympic Games for 12 years until London 1948 and thus Dickinson's Olympic career ended in Berlin.

He enlisted for the war in 1939 and after the war he worked in the insurance industry and eventually retired to the Blue Mountains.

Dickinson passed away in October 2013, aged 98.