Dawn Fraser

1937 -

Dawn Fraser is regarded as the finest female sprint swimmer of them all; winner of four gold and four silver Olympic medals, holder of 39 world records (27 of them individual) and first in her sport of either sex to win the same event at three consecutive Olympics. Her many early handicaps included severe respiratory troubles. She was a natural rebel, often in conflict with authority, and was even disqualified, for alleged professionalism, at the age of 14.

At her first Olympics, in 1956 in Melbourne - where Australia dominated the freestyle swimming - she won the 100m freestyle, was a member of the winning 4 x 100m relay team, and finished second to Lorraine Crapp in the 400m. She went on to win the 100m freestyle in Rome (1960) and Tokyo (1964), collecting silver in the sprint relays at both those Games, and silver again in Rome in the medley relay. Her troubles with officialdom continued - in 1960, after the Rome Games, she was a suspended from international competition for two years for assorted indiscretions, and in 1964, she was given a 10-year suspension. The term was later reduced to four years, but had the effect of ending a career which might have concluded with triumph in 1968.

Fraser's greatest victory, against the odds, occurred in 1964, when she came back to win in Tokyo after a car crash that killed her mother and seriously injured her neck and spine. Such was her dominance of the 100m freestyle that she held the world record for 16 years.

Harry Gordon, AOC historian

Olympic Results

Tokyo 1964 - Summer Olympic Games

100m Freestyle - Women
Heat 1:00.6 1st
Semi Final 59.9 1st
Final 59.5 1st  
Final Placing 1 / 44
4 x 100m Freestyle Relay - Women
Heat THORN, R; MURPHY, J; TURNER, J; BELL, L 4:11.8 1
Final Thorn; Murphy; Bell; Fraser THORN, R; MURPHY, J; BELL, L; FRASER, D 4:06.9 2  
Final Placing 2 / 10
4 x 100m Medley Relay - Women
Heat DUNCAN, N; RUYGROCK, M; McGILL, L; FRASER, D 4:52.3 4
Final Placing 9 / 9
400m Freestyle - Women
Heat 4:52.2 2nd
Final 4:47.6 4th
Final Placing 4 / 31

Rome 1960 - Summer Olympic Games

100m Freestyle - Women
Heat 1:02.1 1st
Semi Final 1:01.4 1st
Final 1:01.2 1st  
Final Placing 1 / 36
4 x 100m Freestyle Relay - Women
Heat MORGAN, S; COLQUHOUN, A; EVERUSS, R; CRAPP, L 4:17.6 Q 1
Final FRASER, D; KONRADS, I; CRAPP, L; COLQUHOUN, A 4:11.3 2  
Final Placing 2 / 12
4 x 100m Medley Relay - Women
Heat BECKETT, G; LASSIG, R; ANDREW, J; KONRADS, I 4:55.7 4
Final WILSON, M; LASSIG, R; ANDREW, J; FRASER, D 4:45.9 2  
Final Placing 2 / 13
400m Freestyle - Women
Heat 4:57.6 3rd
Final 4:58.5 5th
Final Placing 5 / 22

Melbourne 1956 - Summer Olympic Games

100m Freestyle - Women
Heat 1:02.4 1st
Semi Final 1:03.0 1st
Final 1:02.0 1st  
Final Placing 1 / 35
4 x 100m Freestyle Relay - Women
Heat GIBSON, M; MORGAN, S; FRASER, E; LEECH, F 4:25.0 Q 1
Final FRASER, D; LEECH, F; MORGAN, S; CRAPP, L 4:17.1 1  
Final Placing 1 / 10
400m Freestyle - Women
Heat 5:02.5 1st
Final 5:02.5 2nd  
Final Placing 2 / 26

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