Laurie tells the story of the incomparable Dawn Fraser. Dawn helped shape Laurie’s love of swimming. And as a starry-eyed kid, he used to chase her around the Tobruk pool hunting for autographs. Dawn Fraser AC MBE (born 4 September 1937) is an Australian freestyle champion swimmer and former politician. In addition, she is one of only four swimmers to have won the same Olympic individual event three times. In her case, the women’s 100-metre freestyle.
Dawn won the most gold medals by any Australian at the Olympics. For example, she won eight Olympic medals, including four gold medals, and six Commonwealth Games gold medals. She also held 39 records. The 100 metres freestyle record was hers for 15 years from 1 December 1956 to 8 January 1972. She was the first woman to break 60 seconds for the 100m freestyle. Dawn also held the 100m freestyle record for 15 years and the world record for 8 years after her forced retirement.
In addition, Dawn is the first of only four swimmers in Olympic history (Krisztina Egerszegi of Hungary, Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky both from the United States being the three others) to have won individual gold medals for the same event at three successive Olympics (100 metres freestyle – 1956, 1960, 1964).
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