MSWA CEO, Marcus Stafford AM has paid tribute to legendary Australian track and field Olympian Betty Cuthbert AM, MBE, who passed away at a nursing home in Mandurah. Ms Cuthbert was 79 years old and had been living with multiple sclerosis since 1969.
“Betty Cuthbert captured the hearts and minds of the Australian people. You didn’t have to be interested in athletics to be impressed by the Golden Girl’s feats on the track, she was an inspiration,” said Mr Stafford
Betty Cuthbert was the first Australian to win a gold medal on home soil. At the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, Betty became the first Australian to win three gold medals. After coming out of retirement, the Golden Girl won another gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games and during her career she set nine world records.
In 2012, Betty Cuthbert was one of 24 inaugural inductees into the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Hall Of Fame.
In 2010, the Betty Cuthbert rose was named after her to honour her tireless work for people living with MS and raising the profile of MS. For each Betty Cuthbert rose sold, $1 is donated to MS Australia.
“To honour her amazing life, we will plant Betty Cuthbert roses at MSWA’s head offices in Wilson. They will be a living reminder of her strength, her courage, her hard work and determination to make a difference both on and off the track,” added Mr Stafford
“Betty described her MS as a dark cloud but even in her later years she was urging people with MS to never, ever give up and her determined, unwavering spirit has offered inspiration to so many.”