Olympic gold medalist Betty Cuthbert offered state funeral

Kristopher Nichols
August 8, 2017

Betty Cuthbert, the only runner to win Olympic gold medals in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter sprints, has died following a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

She remains the only Olympic track athlete to have won the 100m, 200m and 400m and she set nine world records during her career, four of them in 1958, in the 60 metres, 100 yards, 200 metres, 220 yards and 440 yards.

At the Opening Ceremony of Sydney 2000, Cuthbert carried the Olympic Torch.

"Betty was tragically diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969 and she has battled the disease courageously".

AUSTRALIA:At the age of 18, Cuthbert won three gold medals at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics - the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relays.

Betty Cuthbert doing what she loved most.

She was honoured with a statue cast in bronze outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the main 1956 Olympic stadium. The result ensured Cuthbert became the first Australian to win three gold medals at the same Olympic Games.

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She was notable for her distinctive approach to her sport, sprinting with her mouth wide open and lifting her knees high.

Cuthbert is a member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, whose chairman John Bertrand described the athlete as a "true inspiration and role model to all Australians".

One of Australia's greatest Olympians, Cuthbert was the country's first athlete inducted into the global track and field federation's Hall of Fame.

Athletics Australia on Monday confirmed that Cuthbert died overnight in Western Australia state.

"It's very sad to lose such a great champion".

He remembers bursting with pride after listening on the radio as Cuthbert claimed victory in the first Olympic women's 400m. Sydney 2000 Olympic Champion Cathy Freeman was one of those to follow in the esteemed footsteps of the sporting legend. She was content to withdraw from the public eye until one day in 1962 she received a message from God that she should compete in the Tokyo Games. Only Ian Thorpe's five Olympic gold beats Cuthbert's tally.

"Rest in peace Betty Cuthbert - an inspiration and a champion on and off the track", he wrote on Twitter. I just think how tough she was.

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