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Dawn Fraser

Dawn Fraser (born September 4 1937) is an Australian champion swimmer.

Known for her politically incorrect behaviour or larrikin character, Fraser won eight Olympic and eight Commonwealth Games medals. In October 1962 she became the first woman to swim the 100 metres in less than a minute. After she retired it was eight years before her record was broken.

In 1965 Fraser retired from swimming, after the Australian Swimming Union placed her under a 10 year ban. Things had come to a head when, at the Tokyo Olympics, she marched in the opening ceremony against their wishes, wore an old swimsuit (which angered sponsors) because it was more comfortable, and it was alleged she climbed a flagpole in Emperor Hirohitoís palace, taking the Olympic flag (later proved false). The ban was lifted four years later.

Fraser then became a publican, swimming coach and in 1988 became a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the New South Wales seat of Balmain.

Dawn Fraser was named Australian of the Year in 1964.

On June 8 1998 Dawn Fraser was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Swimming Achievements