Betty Cuthbert: tributes flow for Mandurah golden girl

Tributes have flowed in for Mandurah’s very own golden girl and Olympic hero Betty Cuthbert, who died aged 79 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

Mandurah figures joined those across the country to pay their respects to the four-time Olympic gold medallist, who won three at the 1956 Melbourne games in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay events.

City of Mandurah mayor Marina Vergone remembered Cuthbert as a strong and inspirational woman.

“For over 20 years Betty has called Mandurah home and we were so pleased she joined the City with Dawn Fraser in opening our new Aquatic centre in September 2015,” she wrote on Facebook.

“Rest in Peace Betty, you will always be remembered.”

The City of Mandurah opened Betty Cuthbert park in 2014. Photo: Mandurah Mail.

The City of Mandurah opened Betty Cuthbert park in 2014. Photo: Mandurah Mail.

Mandurah MP David Templeman offered his condolences to Cuthbert’s family.

“Remembering a magnificent Australian and local Mandurah resident Betty Cuthbert. Australia’s “golden girl” passed away earlier this morning,” he said.

“Deepest condolences to her family and friends.”

The local tributes were joined by state and national figures who paid their respects to the celebrated athlete.

WA Olympic Council president and fellow Mandurah local Greg Kaeding lauded Cuthbert for her work in the community.

“By nature, Betty was a very humble and endearing person, and whilst coming to WA to escape her popularity she was committed and gave freely of her time and support when it came to supporting the cause of aspiring Olympic athletes,” he said.

“She eagerly attended every major fundraising event and Olympic farewell dinner hosted by the WA Olympic Council up until 2012.

“Betty had such a great impact on so many of our young Western Australians, inspiring them with her strength and determination.

“She was and will always remain, one of the greats of Australian Sport.”

Australian Olympic legend Cathy Freeman said Cuthbert was an inspiration to her.

While Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised her as a legend both on and off the track.

The Australian Olympic Team shared footage of their hero’s feats.

Cuthbert was born in Merrylands in Sydney’s western suburbs, attending Ermington Public School and Parramatta Home Science School.

She made her Olympic debut at the 1956 Melbourne Games where she set a world record in the 200 metres.

Cuthbert remains the only Olympian to have won a gold medal in all sprint events, being the 100, 200 and 400 metres.

She moved away from the eastern states in 1991, settling in Mandurah.