At the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Elizabeth "Betty" Cuthbert won two gold medals in the individual track sprints (100 and 200m) and a third gold in the 400m relay. The 18-year-old was instantly acclaimed as a national heroine by the home Australian crowd, and was nicknamed the "Golden Girl."
The only perfect race of my life
At the 1960 Games, an injured hamstring forced her to withdraw after one race. But at the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo, she came back to win the 400m in what she called “the only perfect race of my life.” Cuthbert is the only Olympic sprinter, man or woman, to have won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 400m.
18 world records
Between 1956 and 1964 she set or equaled 18 world records over 60m, 100 yards, 220 yards and 400m, and in the 4x100 and 4x220 relays. In 1979, Cuthbert was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, aided by a wheelchair, she was one of several Australian women who carried the Olympic Torch at the Opening Ceremony.