Sunday, 1 March 2009

A "new" Australian Olympian

Above: Swimming at 1904 St Louis Olympic Games.

A report in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald says that a 1904 Olympic swimming medallist has erroneously been in the record books as an American for the past 105 years, when, at the time of his success he was Australian.


Frank Gailey was from Brisbane, sailed to America in Februray 1904, competed in the St Louis Olympics in August of that year and returned to Australia. He emigrated to the US in 1906 and became a US citizen. He married and lived in Southern California, managing orange groves.

Gailey won silver in the 220 yards, 440 annd 880 yards freestyle and bronze in the one mile frestyle. He has been credited with introducing the Australian Crawl to America.

I found the picture above on a wonderful site set up by photographers from the St Louis Post-Despatch, publishing photos from their Sunday magazine. The page linked here shows some of the file images from 1904, paired with the most recent from Beijing 2008. Take a peak and look at the contrast in start in 1904 with the amazing capture of Australia's Eamon Sullivan in 2008!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a super blog Sally.

Was particularly interested in the older photos of swimmers and amazed that at one time the costumes that men wore were so similar to the ones the women wore. When did mens costumes lose the tops?