The University has a long and proud involvement with the Olympic movement. Students, alumni, staff and club members have represented Australia at the Games on some 140 occasions.
Included in that number is rower Nick Green OAM, an original member of the Oarsome Foursome who won the 1992 and 1996 Olympic gold medals in the men’s fours. He was a horticulture student.
Mates and fellow graduates Tom King OAM (BE(Mech&ManufEng) 1998) and Mark Turnbull OAM (BPD(PC) 1995, BBldg 1996) won yachting gold in the 470 Class at Sydney in 2000.
Another building student who did his best work on the water, rower Peter Antonie OAM won the double sculls at Barcelona in 1992.
Perhaps our most famous Olympian, Cathy Freeman OAM, came to live in Melbourne in 1992 and enrolled in an Arts course. Her biography notes that while she was “far from committed” as a student, she enjoyed “being part of a freethinking community”.
The University of Melbourne’s Bachelor of Science degree links three of Australia’s best-known Olympic gold medallists.
Ralph Doubell AM, whose scorching time in winning the 1968 Olympic Games 800-metre gold medal remains a national record, graduated from Melbourne with a science degree in 1967.
Kathy Watt OAM, who became Australia’s first female cycling gold medallist when she claimed the road race at the 1992 Barcelona Games, was also a Bachelor of Science graduate, having majored in physiology and pathology.
Herb Elliott AC MBE, the 1500-metre colossus whose victory at the Rome Games in 1960 came in the middle of a four-year period when he was undefeated over that distance, began a science degree at Melbourne before completing it at Cambridge.
Other University of Melbourne Olympians
John Landy AC OBE (BAgrSc 1954, LLD 2003), former Governor of Victoria; 1500-metre bronze medal, Melbourne 1956.
Margot Foster (BA 1978, LLB 1980, Trinity College), former Australian Sports Commission board member; rowing bronze medal, Los Angeles 1984.
Kim Crow (BA(Media& Comm), LLB 2010), Australian athlete of the year in 2013; double sculls silver medal and single sculls bronze medal, London 2012.
Read more about the University’s proud history of achievement in athletics.