Lynne Bates (Watson)

Athlete Biography

Lynne Bates (nee Watson) won an Olympic silver medal in swimming at the 1968 Mexico City Games. Competing in the 4 x 100m Medley Relay, Bates swam an Olympic record of 1 minute 8.5 seconds in the backstroke leg, combining with Judy PLayfiar, Janet Steinbeck and Lyn McClements to finish second behind the USA.

Bates was unlucky to miss out on two more medals, finishing fourth in both the 200m Backstroke and 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay. She was also sixth in the 100m Backstroke and 17th in the 100m Freestyle.

Two years later at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, Bates won four gold medals in both Backstroke events and in the 4 x 100m Freestyle and Medley Relays.

Bates joined the Australian Olympic Committee Executive Board in 2001. She was the Deputy Chef de Mission to the 2004 and 2008 Australian Olympic Teams in Athens and Beijing. She was also a Team Administrator for the 1996 and 1992 Australian Olympic Team in Atlanta and Barcelona. She stepped down from her role on the Board in May 2013.

Bates has been involved in the administration of swimming, sport and the Olympic Games for over 40 years and has an extensive list of career achievements and honours. The West Australian was the Chief Operating Officer for the 2010 World Swimming Championships in Dubai, 2009 World Masters Games in Sydney and 2007 World Swimming Championships in Melbourne. She was the Group Tournament Logistics Manager for the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the Aquatics Manager for the Sydney Olympic Games Organisation Committee.

It was at the conclusion of the Sydney 2000 Games, Bates was awarded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Gold Pin by then IOC President Samaranch for her contribution to the “Best Ever” Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Aquatics.

In 2005 she became the first female elected to the FINA Bureau and was awarded the IOC Women in Sport Trophy. The following year she was awarded the Order of Australia for outstanding service to the Australian Olympic Committee and Swimming Australia and in 2007 the FINA Gold Plaque.