Kevan Gosper

T Courtney (USA) 1st, R K Gosper (AUS) 2nd at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

Athlete Biography

1933 -

Kevan Gosper teamed with Graham Gipson, Leon Gregory and David Lean to claim the silver medal, behind the powerful American combination, in the 4 x 400 metres relay at Melbourne 1956. This was the first Olympic medal by an Australian men’s athletics relay team. The next was the same medal in the same event, by the ‘Silver Bullets’ (Steffensen, Ormrod, Dwyer, Hill) at Athens 2004.

Gosper won the gold medal in the 440 yards at the 1954 Vancouver British Empire and Commonwealth Games and bronze medals in both relays. Whilst studying in the United States his running developed to the extent that by Melbourne he was a medal hope in the 400 metres. In the individual event, he was surprisingly eliminated in the semi-finals. At the 1958 Cardiff British Empire and Commonwealth Gosper won bronze medals in the 440 yards and the 4 x 440 yards relay. He attended Rome 1960 but did not make the final of the 400 metres, which witnessed the first sub 45-second run.

Away from competition, Gosper became a senior business executive as well as contributing to the management of sport and to the Olympic Movement. Included in the many positions he has held are President of the Australian Olympic Federation and Vice President of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. He became a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1977. Since then he has been a Vice President, a member of the Executive Board and chaired committees relating to the press and the media, Olympic Solidarity and unity of sport. In 1986, he was created an Officer of the Order of Australia ‘for service to sport and sports administration’. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1989.