Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Dawn Fraser

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Full name  Dawn Lorraine Fraser
Weight  67 kg (148 lb)
Spouse  Gary Ware (m. 1965–1968)
Height  1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Role  Freestyle swimmer

National team  Australia
Name  Dawn Fraser
Nickname(s)  "Dawny"
Sport  Swimming
Children  Dawn-Lorraine Ware
Dawn Fraser Dawn Fraser Simple English Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
Born  4 September 1937 (age 78) (1937-09-04) Balmain, New South Wales
Olympic medals  Swimming at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Women's 100 metre freestyle
Awards  Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year
Movies and TV shows  The Dawn Fraser Story, Dancing with the Stars, New York Decalogue
Similar People  Lorraine Crapp, Faith Leech, Cathy Freeman, Sharon Stouder, Chris von Saltza

1964 dawn fraser an aussie swimming icon

Dawn Fraser, (born 4 September 1937) is an Australian freestyle champion swimmer and former politician. She is one of only three swimmers to have won the same Olympic event three times – in her case the women's 100-metre freestyle.


Dawn Fraser Dawn Fraser Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Within Australia, she is often known for her controversial behaviour and larrikin character as much as for her athletic ability.

Dawn Fraser httpswwwlaureuscomsitesdefaultfilesDawnF

Dawn fraser wins 100m final melbourne 1956 olympics colour footage

Early life

Dawn Fraser Dawn Fraser Quotes QuotesGram

Fraser was born in the Sydney suburb of Balmain, New South Wales in 1937 into a poor working-class family, the youngest of eight children. Her father, Kenneth Fraser, was from Embo, Scotland. She was spotted at the early age of 14 by Sydney coach Harry Gallagher swimming at the local sea baths.

Swimming career

Dawn Fraser Dawn Fraser Australian swimmer Britannicacom

Fraser won eight Olympic medals, including four gold medals, and six Commonwealth Games gold medals. She also held 39 records. The 100 metres freestyle record was hers for 15 years from 1 December 1956 to 8 January 1972.

Dawn Fraser dawnfraserialmostdiedkey18b7p4g18b7p4njpg

She is the first of only three swimmers in Olympic history (Krisztina Egerszegi of Hungary and Michael Phelps of the United States being the two others) to have won individual gold medals for the same event at three successive Olympics (100 metres freestyle – 1956, 1960, 1964).

In October 1962, she became the first woman to swim 100 metres freestyle in less than one minute. It was not until 1972, eight years after Fraser retired, that her 100m record of 58.9 secs was broken.

During the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Fraser angered swimming team sponsors and the Australian Swimming Union (ASU) by marching in the opening ceremony against their wishes, and wearing an older swimming costume in competition because it was more comfortable than the one supplied by the sponsors. She was accused of stealing an Olympic flag from a flagpole outside Emperor Hirohito's palace from the Kōkyo. She was arrested but released without charge. In the end she was given the flag as a souvenir. However, the Australian Swimming Union suspended her for 10 years. They relented a few months before the 1968 Games but by then it was too late for Fraser, at 31, to prepare.

Fraser had been injured in a car crash in her native Australia several weeks before the 1964 Olympics, which resulted in the death of her mother Rose. Her sister and a friend were also travelling in Fraser's car when it crashed but survived. This was a fresh tragedy for Fraser and her family following her older brother's death from leukaemia in 1950, and her Scottish born father died after a long battle against cancer in 1960.

She later denied having swum the moat to steal the flag, telling The Times in 1991: "There's no way I would have swum that moat. I was terrified of dirty water and that moat was filthy. There's no way I'd have dipped my toe in it."

Post-swimming activities

Fraser became a publican at the Riverview Hotel, Balmain, and took up swimming coaching. In 1988, she was elected an independent Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the seat of Balmain. Fraser left politics when the seat was abolished in 1991 and she failed to win the new seat of Port Jackson. Fraser is a high-profile supporter and a board director of the Wests Tigers NRL club.


She was named the Australian of the Year in 1964, was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1965, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1967, and appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1998. Also in 1998, she was voted Australia's greatest female athlete in history. She was named Australian Female Athlete of the Century by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, who had inducted her as their first female member in 1985. In 1999 the International Olympic Committee named her the World's Greatest Living Female Water Sports Champion. on 14 July 2000, Fraser was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for "outstanding contribution as a swimming competitor".

She was one of the bearers of the Olympic Torch at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. She carried the Olympic Torch at the stadium, as one of the bearers for the final segment, before the lighting of the Olympic Flame.

The Australian Sport Awards includes an award named in honour of and presented by Fraser. In 1992, the State Transit Authority named a RiverCat ferry after Fraser.

In film

In 1979, a movie called Dawn! was made about Fraser's life and career. It starred Bronwyn Mackay-Payne as Fraser.

Fraser was played by Melissa Thomas in the 2003 film Swimming Upstream. Fraser herself is credited in the film as Dawn Fraser's coach. On 1 September 2015, Dawn Fraser featured on Season 7, Episode 5 of the SBS genealogy television series Who Do You Think You Are?, which traced her heritage back to South America.

Personal life

Fraser married Gary Ware on 30 January 1965 at St Stephens Church, Macquarie Street, Sydney. The marriage was short-lived. She has one daughter from the marriage, Dawn-Lorraine, who has a son, Jackson.

Fraser has drawn negative criticism for public comments such as, "I'm sick and tired of the immigrants that are coming into my country." and telling two Australian tennis players to "go back to where their fathers or parents came from." These views have been described as racist. She subsequently apologized.

Olympic accomplishments

  • 1962 Perth Commonwealth Games
  • 110 yards freestyle – gold medal
  • 440 yards freestyle – gold medal
  • 4 x 110 yards (4 x 100.58 metres) freestyle relay – gold medal
  • 4 x 110 yards (4 x 100.58 metres) medley relay – gold medal
  • References

    Dawn Fraser Wikipedia