August 9, 2003
By Tanya Giles
AUSTRALIA'S golden girl, Betty Cuthbert, sobbed as a statue honouring her achievements was unveiled at the MCG yesterday.
The bronze statue captures Cuthbert in full stride as she raced to victory in the 100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
"I think it's absolutely marvellous. It's exactly like I was ... running with my mouth wide open," Cuthbert said, with tears in her eyes.
Cuthbert won three of her Olympic gold medals at the MCG for the 100m, the 200m and the 100m relay. She fought off a foot injury to win her fourth gold in the inaugural 400m women's race in Toyko eight years later.
Cuthbert, 65, who lives in Perth, said she was blessed with an ability to run. "A gift to run ... was given to me by God and I had to use it to the best of my ability," she said.
Cuthbert, who has battled multiple sclerosis and almost died after a brain hemorrhage last year, said she hoped her life would encourage young Australians to pursue their dreams.
"If they take on any sport, or anything they really believe in, stick
to it, no matter what happens, because you do get setbacks. Stick to it
and it will happen for you," she said.
Copyright © 2003, Herald and Weekly Times