Dawn Fraser is an Australian swimmer who used to be a freestyle champion. She won the women’s 100-meter freestyle event at the Olympics three times. When she was 19, she went to her first Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, and won a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle. This made her famous all over the world. Over the next few years, she won seven more Olympic medals and six gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. She became one of Australia’s most famous Olympians. She was well-known for her athletic skills, but she also got a lot of attention for some of the things she did. As a young teen, her swimming skills caught the eye of Sydney coach Harry Gallagher. She was born into a big, poor family. Gallagher started training her to be famous, and soon the girl was one of the best swimmers in the world. But her tendency to get into trouble often made her coaches and sponsors mad. During the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, she was accused of trying to steal the Olympic flag. After that, the Australian Swimming Union banned her for 10 years, which ended her swimming career. Later, she ran for office, but that didn’t last long. Even though she often says things that are controversial, she is still a well-known figure in Australia and was named the First Lady of the Olympic Games at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Early years and childhood
Dawn Lorraine Fraser was born on September 4, 1937, to a poor working-class family in Balmain, New South Wales. She was the last of Kenneth Fraser and his wife’s eight children. Her father was from the Scottish town of Embo.
She was athletic and sure of herself, and she loved swimming from a young age, but she didn’t start getting professional training until she was in her mid-teens. When she was 14, her swimming coach in Sydney, Harry Gallagher, saw her swimming at the sea baths and saw that she had a lot of potentials.
Gallagher took the teenager under his wing and started coaching her. Through his skilled training, she learned the skills and gained the confidence she needed to take part in competitions.
Dawn Fraser’s Career
In 1956, when she was 19, she went to her first Olympics in Melbourne and won a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle. She also won gold in the 100-meter freestyle relay and silver in the 400-meter freestyle. Her acting roles made her a role model for young people in her home country and gave her a lot of fame around the world.
It was just the start of a very successful career in sports. She held the record for the 100-meter freestyle for 15 years, from December 1956 to January 1972. During her career, she also set a number of new records. She won two gold medals at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.
Dawn Fraser was the favorite to win the 100-meter freestyle at the 1960 Olympics in Rome because she had won the event at the previous games. She didn’t let her fans down and won gold again, making her the first woman to win the same swimming event twice.
During these Olympics, she was also criticized for acting in an odd and careless way. The manager of the Australian team asked her to swim the butterfly leg of the medley relay, but she said no. This made her upset her Australian teammates and the people in charge.
She went on to win four gold medals at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia. This was another great show by her. At the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, she won the 100-meter freestyle event again, making her one of only three swimmers to win the same event three times.
During these Olympics, there was a big fuss. Dawn Fraser was accused of taking an Olympic flag from a flagpole outside Emperor Hirohito’s palace. The Australian Swimming Union banned her for 10 years because of this. After four years, the union lifted the ban, but by then, her swimming career was over.
She worked as a swimming coach and also ran for office. She was chosen as an independent MLA for the Balmain seat in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1988. After three years, the seat was taken away in 1991, putting an end to her political career.
Since then, she has stayed involved in sports and the wider community. She is the patron of the Cerebral Palsy Sports Association, the Wheelchair Sports Association of Victoria, and the Ladies Professional Golf Association. She is also a Director of the Wests Tigers Football Club, the Balmain Leagues Club, and the Balmain Football Club.
Awards & Achievements
In 1965, she became a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
She became a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1967.
She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1998, and that same year, Australians voted her their best female athlete ever.
In 1999, the International Olympic Committee said that she was the best living female water sports champion in the world.
In 2000, she was given the Australian Sports Medal for “outstanding contribution as a swimmer competitor.”
Personal History and Legacies
In January 1965, Dawn Fraser married Gary Ware. Even though this marriage didn’t last long, one daughter came from it.
Estimated Net worth
Dawn is one of the wealthiest swimmers and is on the list of the most well-known swimmers. About $1.5 million is how much Dawn Fraser is worth.
This famous Australian Olympian caused a stir when she said things that were racist and against immigration.