The Cairns Post
Fraser ‘choked up’ over award in her honour
AUSTRALIAN sporting pioneer Dawn Fraser says her “lifetime dream” has been fulfilled in having an award named after her that recognises groundbreaking qualities.
This year’s Sport Australia Hall of Fame celebration will for the first time include the Dawn Award.
The award recognises a “courageous groundbreaker who has demonstrated achievement against the odds and challenged the status quo”.
Swimming queen Fraser challenged authority during a stellar career that included four Olympic gold medals, including three in the same event – the 100m freestyle – at successive games in 1956, 1960 and 1964.
However, she is also remembered for stealing an Olympic flag in Tokyo in 1964 as well as her decisions in the same year to march in the Games’ opening ceremony and wear an older swimming costume despite it angering team sponsors and the then Australian Swimming Union.
“This is for being outrageous and a path leader, and it can go back years when we start thinking about it,” Fraser said.
“It’s very interesting and I think everyone will be very surprised who the award recipient is.
“The selection committee’s very happy with it, the board’s very happy with it and I’m overboard with it.”
Fraser, 84, said her emotions got the better of her when Sport Australia Hall of Fame chairman John Bertrand asked for her permission to name the award after her.
“I was really choked up,” she said.