When Fanny swam to Games glory

Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie

By Jim Fagan

Why did it take four Olympic Games before women’s swimming events were first introduced in 1912 and the world saw Australia’s Fanny Durack, the greatest female swimmer of the time, win gold in the 100 metres freestyle with close friend Mina Wylie earning silver?

Dr Ian Jobling will discuss this and other fascinating facts this Sunday when he resumes his popular talks on the early years of the Olympic Games.

He will focus on the successes and disappointments of the controversial 1908 Games in London, the first Olympics with a purpose-built stadium and the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm.

Ian is Director of Queensland Centre of Olympic Studies at the University of Queensland and has been involved in the Olympic Movement since he saw his first Games in Melbourne in 1956.

He is also a founding member of the Australian Society of Sports History and he is donating profits from his talk to the Sunshine Beach State School Chaplaincy Program and the Noosa Masters Swimming Club.

“Our school chaplains are so vital for the wellbeing and emotional support of students. They are there for the disadvantaged, and those in need in times of crisis. Federal funding enables a chaplain to be in a school one and a half days a week.

“Additional funding is needed to increase the number of days for them to be more readily available.”

“Australia at the Olympic Games—the Early Years.” St Andrew’s Anglican Church Sunshine Beach. Sunday Feb 3. Refreshments from 4pm followed by the presentation. Tickets $10, students $5, on sale at door. More information call Ian 0417 192 531.


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