Four-time Olympic gold medallist, Betty Cuthbert has died aged 79 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.
— Athletics Australia (@AthsAust) August 6, 2017
At the young age of 18, the Sydney born athlete won gold in the 100m sprint, 200m sprint and 4x100m relay at the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne.
The sprinter set an Olympic record of 11.4 seconds in the 100m heat and ran the last leg of the 4x100m relay, bringing home victory and breaking the world record.
Eight years later, Cuthbert went on to win another gold medal in the 400m at the Tokyo Olympics.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull paid tribute to the Australian sprinter on Twitter earlier today, “Rest in Peace Betty Cuthbert – an inspiration and a champion on and off the track,” he wrote.
Cuthbert’s achievements earned her a place in the IAAF Hall of Fame in the inaugural year of 2012, becoming Australia’s first inductee alongside Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis.
After failing to defend her titles at the at the 1960 Games in Rome due to injury, she returned four years later to gain her fourth gold medal, making her the first Australian to win four gold medals in four different events.
Cuthbert’s battle with multiple sclerosis begun in 1969 and extended throughout her entire adult life.