- 17 Feb 2004
- IOC News
Great Olympian Shirley STRICKLAND Passes Away at 78
Shirley Strickland (de la Hunty) was the daughter of a professional sprinter in Australia, and she obviously inherited his speed. With seven Olympic medals Strickland de la Hunty set a record for women's track field that, although subsequently equaled by Irena Szewiska-Kirszenstein, has never been beaten. The Australian sprinter-hurdler won three gold medals in the 80m hurdles (1952, 1956) and the 4x100m relay (1956). She also won one silver and three bronze medals in three Olympic appearances (1948-1956). At the 1950 British Empire Games she won three gold medals (hurdles and both relays) and two silvers (100 and 220 yards). During her career she set or equalled five individual world records, four in the hurdles, and one at 100m, and she was a member of five Australian relay teams which set or equalled world records. Strickland de la Hunty was a graduate of the University of Western Australia and later became a physics and mathematics teacher, but she also coached track and field. At the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, she was one of several female Australian Olympians who carried the Olympic torch.
In 2002, Strickland was awarded an Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee in recognition of her contribution to world sport.