Difference between revisions of "Fanny Durack"

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'''Sarah Frances "Fanny" Durack''' (27 October 1889 – 20 March 1956), also known by her married name '''Fanny Gately''', was an Australian competition [[swimming (sport)|swimmer]]. In the 1910s Fanny Durack was the fastest female swimmer in Australia and was told she couldn't compete in the upcoming Olympics because as a woman it was ‘immodest’. But she was all like “Fuck that” and became not only Australia’s first female Olympian, but broke the world record for the 100m at the 1912 Stockholm Games. She’s a true Sheila because she didn’t  take no for an answer and refused to abide by the ‘rules’ of how a woman at the time ‘should’ behave. Something to remember any time someone says having tits is standing in between you and your dreams.
 
'''Sarah Frances "Fanny" Durack''' (27 October 1889 – 20 March 1956), also known by her married name '''Fanny Gately''', was an Australian competition [[swimming (sport)|swimmer]]. In the 1910s Fanny Durack was the fastest female swimmer in Australia and was told she couldn't compete in the upcoming Olympics because as a woman it was ‘immodest’. But she was all like “Fuck that” and became not only Australia’s first female Olympian, but broke the world record for the 100m at the 1912 Stockholm Games. She’s a true Sheila because she didn’t  take no for an answer and refused to abide by the ‘rules’ of how a woman at the time ‘should’ behave. Something to remember any time someone says having tits is standing in between you and your dreams.
  
==Life and career==
+
==Early life==
[[File:Fanny Durack 03 State Library of New South Wales a468005u.jpg|thumb|left|Fanny Durack, Stockholm Olympics, 1912 [http://digital.sl.nsw.gov.au/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?embedded=true&toolbar=false&dps_pid=FL946083 a468005u]]]Durack learned to swim in Sydney's [[Coogee Baths]]<ref name=":0" /> using [[breaststroke]], the only style for which there was a championship for women at that time. In 1906 she won her first title, and over the next few years, dominated the Australian swimming scene. In the 1910-11 swimming season, [[Mina Wylie]] beat Durack in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 100- and 220-yard freestyle at the [[Australian Swimming Championships]] at Rose Bay. The two went on to become close friends.
+
Fanny learned to swim breaststroke at Coogee, and during this time she met future swimming partner Wilhelmina ‘Mina’ Wylie. Wylie’s father, Henry Alexander Wylie, owned Wylie Baths, Coogee, and it was there that the two future Olympians came to perfect their sport.
  
From late 1912 to 1920, Durack held the official women's Freestyle swimming world record for 100 metres.<ref>{{cite news |url=http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article124131415 |title=FANNY DURACK'S THREE RECORDS. |newspaper=[[The Sydney Stock and Station Journal]] |volume=XXIV, |issue=91 |location=New South Wales, Australia |date=25 February 1913 |accessdate=12 July 2018 |page=2 |via=National Library of Australia}}</ref> She also held the 200M freestyle record from 1915 to 1921. Other world records held included 220 yards freestyle (1915 to 1921), 500M freestyle (1916 to 1917) and 1 mile freestyle (1914 to 1926). She also held many Australian and State records.  
+
==Career==
 +
In 1906, at the age of 17, Durack won her first title. Over the coming years she would come to dominate the female swimming scene. By 1908 she had taken up the Trudgen stroke to improve her times, and over 1910/1911 season she and Wylie came to perfect the front ‘Australian’ crawl style, an early variation of the stroke now often referred to as freestyle. Wylie won the 100 yard breaststroke and 100 and 220 yard freestyle events, ahead of Durack, at the Australian Swimming Championships at Rose Bay. But competitive swimming for women was in its infancy when Fanny Durack first took to the sport.
  
The New South Wales Ladies Swimming Association initially was opposed to women participating in the Olympic Games.<ref name=NSWLSA /> The [[1912 Summer Olympics]] in Stockholm was to be the first Olympics to have women's swimming. Durack and Wylie were initially refused permission by NSWLSA to compete, but later they were allowed to go provided they bore their own expenses.<ref>{{Citation | author1=Guile, Melanie | author2=Braumberger, Alicia | title=Fanny Durack's Olympic quest | publication-date=2011 | publisher=Macmillan Education Australia | isbn=978-1-4202-8110-1 }}</ref> They organised local fundraising to raise the funds for themselves as well as for the obligatory chaperones.<ref name=NSWLSA>Lenskyj, Helen  (2013) ''[https://books.google.com./books?id=33GG2VdqDN4C&pg=PA65 Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry]''. {{ISBN|978-1-137-29114-1}}</ref> Durack set a new world record in the heats of the 100-metre freestyle. She won the final, becoming the first Australian woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a swimming event. Until the [[1932 Summer Olympics|1932 Olympics]] (when [[Clare Dennis]] won the 200-metre breaststroke in Los Angeles<ref>http://www.olympic.org/content/results-and-medalists/gamesandsportsummary/?sport=42422&games=1932%2F1&event=31784</ref>) she was the only such woman; and until the [[1956 Summer Olympics|1956 Olympics]] she and Dennis were the only two such women.
+
Given her successes in amateur competitions, there was considerable public demand for Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie to go to the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. This, however, was met with opposition from the Australian Olympic Committee and the New South Wales Ladies Swimming Association.
  
A week before the Australian team left for the 1920 [[1920 Summer Olympics|Antwerp Olympics]], in May 1920, Durack suffered appendicitis<ref>{{cite news |url=http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222414098 |title=FANNY DURACK |newspaper=[[The Sun (Sydney)|The Sun]] |issue=3073 |location=New South Wales, Australia |date=10 May 1920 |accessdate=12 July 2018 |page=7 |via=National Library of Australia}}</ref> and had an emergency appendectomy. This was followed by typhoid fever and pneumonia and she was unable to participate in the Olympic team.<ref name=":0" />
+
1912 Stockholm Olympics
 +
Stockholm was the first Olympics to host women’s swimming events. Durack and Wylie almost didn’t make it to the 1912 Olympic Games. They were initially excluded from the Australasian Olympic team because the selection committee claimed that they could not afford to send female competitors. Additionally, the New South Wales Ladies’ Amateur Swimming Association forbade women to appear in competitions where men were present.
  
During [[World War I]], the statue of Mary and the infant Jesus on top of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Brebières in [[Albert, Somme]], France, was hit by a shell on 15 January 1915, and slumped to a near-horizontal position. Australian troops nicknamed the leaning statue "Fanny", in honour of Fanny Durack as it resembled the swimmer diving off the blocks.
+
Rose Scott, President of the NSW Ladies Swimming Association, opposed Durack and Wylie’s inclusion in the team. Scott was firmly believed that men should not be anywhere near a swimming pool, either as spectators or participants, while women were swimming.
  
==Death and legacy==
+
This exclusion from the team led to a public outcry. Unsolicited donations came in from the public. Rose Scott and the NSW Ladies Swimming Association became targets of ridicule, before the organisation conceded and endorsed Durack. Scott did not agree with the endorsement and immediately resigned. Sporting and theatre entrepreneur Hugh McIntosh was encouraged by his wife to co-ordinate the fundraising effort. With the obstacles cleared, Durack and Wylie could finally attend the Olympics. They comprised the first ever Australian Olympic Ladies’ Swimming Team.
Durack died in Sydney in 1956. She was interred in [[Waverley Cemetery]], together with her late husband Bernard Martin Gately. Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre<ref>[http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/library/history_services/fanny_durack.html Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre]. marrickville.nsw.gov.au</ref> in [[Petersham, New South Wales|Petersham]], Sydney, is named in her honour.
+
The Olympic swimming events were held in July, 1912. Fanny set a new world record – 1 minute 19.8 seconds. Two days later, the Australians each won a semi-final, Fanny’s time 1:20.2. The final was to be held the next day, Friday 12 July, at 7.30pm.
  
She was posthumously inducted into the [[International Swimming Hall of Fame]] as an "Honour Swimmer" in 1967.<ref name=ishofprofile>International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honourees, [http://www.ishof.org/fanny-durack-(aus).html  Fanny Durack (AUS)].  Retrieved 16 March 2015.</ref>
 
  
Sarah Durack Ave at [[Sydney Olympic Park]] in [[Sydney]], Australia is named in honour of her.
+
==After the Olympics==
 +
Durack and Wylie arrived back home to great celebrations. Following her Olympic success, Durack toured the United States. Between 1912 and 1918 she broke 12 world records. Some of the records she held included:
 +
* the 110 yards freestyle (1912-1921)
 +
* the 100 metre freestyle (1912-1923)
 +
* the 220 yards freestyle (1915-1921, the first woman to hold this record)
 +
* the 500 metre freestyle (1916-1917);
 +
* The mile record (1914-1926
  
==Gallery==
+
In 1915, Durack was awarded the Helms world trophy for most outstanding amateur athlete, and in 1916 she gave an exhibition of swimming in the Cooks River at the Illawarra Road bridge. Fanny’s display was part of a carnival held to raise funds for the Australian New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops.
<gallery>
+
In 1918, Durack and Wylie arrived in the United States without official sanction to find themselves banned by the Amateur Swimming Union of Australia. In 1919, the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States “threatened to suspend their amateur status, when they refused to swim until their manager’s expenses were paid.” In Chicago, Durack was ordered by officials to swim. She jumped the starter’s gun, swam half a length and got out, thus ending her tour.
File:Fanny Durack, Mina Wylie 1912.jpg|thumb|235px|Fanny Durack (left) and Mina Wylie at the 1912 Olympics
 
File:Fanny Durack 03 State Library of New South Wales a468006u.jpg|thumb|Fanny Durack 03 [[State Library of New South Wales]] a468006u
 
File:Fanny Durack 02 State Library of New South Wales a5614001u.jpg|thumb|Fanny Durack 02 [[State Library of New South Wales]] a5614001u
 
File:Fanny Durack State Library of New South Wales Hood 30001u.tif|thumb|Fanny Durack [[State Library of New South Wales]] Hood 30001u
 
File:Fanny Durack 05 State Library of New South Wales a466001u.jpg|thumb|Fanny Durack 05 [[State Library of New South Wales]] a466001u
 
</gallery>
 
  
==Records==
+
==Trivia==
===Olympic Records===
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* Fanny ran into the wall at the 1912 Olympics
*1912 gold (100m freestyle)
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* Fanny and Mina perfected the stroke that would become known as the 'Australian Crawl' (now commonly known as freestyle).
 
+
* There is now a pool named after Fanny Durack in Petersham, New South Wales
===World records===
+
* Fanny was featured as a Google Doodle in 2018
*100-yard freestyle (1912 to 1921)
+
* Durack was Australia’s only individual gold at the 1912 Olympics
*100-metre freestyle (1912 to 1920)
+
* She was posthumously inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honour Swimmer" in 1967.
*220-yard freestyle (1915 to 1921)
+
* Sarah Durack Ave at Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney, Australia is named in honour of her.
*500-metre freestyle (1916 to 1917)
+
* During World War I, a statue in the Somme, France, was hit by a shell slumped to a near-horizontal position. Australian troops nicknamed the leaning statue "Fanny", as it resembled the swimmer diving off the blocks.
*mile (1914 to 1926)
 
 
 
==See also==
 
* [[List of Olympic medalists in swimming (women)]]
 
* [[World record progression 100 metres freestyle]]
 
* [[World record progression 200 metres freestyle]]
 
 
 
==References==
 
{{Reflist}}
 
 
 
==Bibliography==
 
*{{cite book| first=Peter |last=FitzSimons|authorlink=Peter FitzSimons | year=2006 |publisher=Harper Collins Publishers |isbn= 0-7322-8517-8 |title=Great Australian Sports Champions}}
 
* David Wallechinsky, The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics, Little, Brown and Company (1996)
 
 
 
{{s-start}}
 
{{s-ach|rec}}
 
{{succession box|before=[[Daisy Curwen]]|title=[[World record progression 100 metres freestyle|Women's 100 m freestyle<br />world record-holder (long course)]]|years=9 July 1912 &ndash; 23 August 1920 |after= [[Ethelda Bleibtrey]]}}
 
{{s-end}}
 
 
 
{{Footer Olympic Champions 100 m Freestyle Women}}
 
{{1912 Australasian Olympic team}}
 
 
 
{{Authority control}}
 
 
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:Durack, Fanny}}
 
[[Category:1889 births]]
 
[[Category:1956 deaths]]
 
[[Category:Australian female swimmers]]
 
[[Category:Olympic swimmers of Australasia]]
 
[[Category:Sportswomen from New South Wales]]
 
[[Category:Swimmers at the 1912 Summer Olympics]]
 
[[Category:Divers at the 1912 Summer Olympics]]
 
[[Category:Olympic gold medalists for Australasia]]
 
[[Category:Burials at Waverley Cemetery]]
 
[[Category:Former world record holders in swimming]]
 
[[Category:Medalists at the 1912 Summer Olympics]]
 
[[Category:Female freestyle swimmers]]
 
[[Category:Female breaststroke swimmers]]
 
[[Category:Olympic divers of Australasia]]
 
[[Category:Australian female divers]]
 
[[Category:International Swimming Hall of Fame inductees]]
 
[[Category:Swimmers from Sydney]]
 
[[Category:Olympic gold medalists in swimming]]
 

Revision as of 05:47, 28 August 2018

Sarah Frances "Fanny" Durack (27 October 1889 – 20 March 1956), also known by her married name Fanny Gately, was an Australian competition swimmer. In the 1910s Fanny Durack was the fastest female swimmer in Australia and was told she couldn't compete in the upcoming Olympics because as a woman it was ‘immodest’. But she was all like “Fuck that” and became not only Australia’s first female Olympian, but broke the world record for the 100m at the 1912 Stockholm Games. She’s a true Sheila because she didn’t take no for an answer and refused to abide by the ‘rules’ of how a woman at the time ‘should’ behave. Something to remember any time someone says having tits is standing in between you and your dreams.

Early life

Fanny learned to swim breaststroke at Coogee, and during this time she met future swimming partner Wilhelmina ‘Mina’ Wylie. Wylie’s father, Henry Alexander Wylie, owned Wylie Baths, Coogee, and it was there that the two future Olympians came to perfect their sport.

Career

In 1906, at the age of 17, Durack won her first title. Over the coming years she would come to dominate the female swimming scene. By 1908 she had taken up the Trudgen stroke to improve her times, and over 1910/1911 season she and Wylie came to perfect the front ‘Australian’ crawl style, an early variation of the stroke now often referred to as freestyle. Wylie won the 100 yard breaststroke and 100 and 220 yard freestyle events, ahead of Durack, at the Australian Swimming Championships at Rose Bay. But competitive swimming for women was in its infancy when Fanny Durack first took to the sport.

Given her successes in amateur competitions, there was considerable public demand for Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie to go to the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. This, however, was met with opposition from the Australian Olympic Committee and the New South Wales Ladies Swimming Association.

1912 Stockholm Olympics Stockholm was the first Olympics to host women’s swimming events. Durack and Wylie almost didn’t make it to the 1912 Olympic Games. They were initially excluded from the Australasian Olympic team because the selection committee claimed that they could not afford to send female competitors. Additionally, the New South Wales Ladies’ Amateur Swimming Association forbade women to appear in competitions where men were present.

Rose Scott, President of the NSW Ladies Swimming Association, opposed Durack and Wylie’s inclusion in the team. Scott was firmly believed that men should not be anywhere near a swimming pool, either as spectators or participants, while women were swimming.

This exclusion from the team led to a public outcry. Unsolicited donations came in from the public. Rose Scott and the NSW Ladies Swimming Association became targets of ridicule, before the organisation conceded and endorsed Durack. Scott did not agree with the endorsement and immediately resigned. Sporting and theatre entrepreneur Hugh McIntosh was encouraged by his wife to co-ordinate the fundraising effort. With the obstacles cleared, Durack and Wylie could finally attend the Olympics. They comprised the first ever Australian Olympic Ladies’ Swimming Team. The Olympic swimming events were held in July, 1912. Fanny set a new world record – 1 minute 19.8 seconds. Two days later, the Australians each won a semi-final, Fanny’s time 1:20.2. The final was to be held the next day, Friday 12 July, at 7.30pm.


After the Olympics

Durack and Wylie arrived back home to great celebrations. Following her Olympic success, Durack toured the United States. Between 1912 and 1918 she broke 12 world records. Some of the records she held included:

  • the 110 yards freestyle (1912-1921)
  • the 100 metre freestyle (1912-1923)
  • the 220 yards freestyle (1915-1921, the first woman to hold this record)
  • the 500 metre freestyle (1916-1917);
  • The mile record (1914-1926

In 1915, Durack was awarded the Helms world trophy for most outstanding amateur athlete, and in 1916 she gave an exhibition of swimming in the Cooks River at the Illawarra Road bridge. Fanny’s display was part of a carnival held to raise funds for the Australian New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops. In 1918, Durack and Wylie arrived in the United States without official sanction to find themselves banned by the Amateur Swimming Union of Australia. In 1919, the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States “threatened to suspend their amateur status, when they refused to swim until their manager’s expenses were paid.” In Chicago, Durack was ordered by officials to swim. She jumped the starter’s gun, swam half a length and got out, thus ending her tour.

Trivia

  • Fanny ran into the wall at the 1912 Olympics
  • Fanny and Mina perfected the stroke that would become known as the 'Australian Crawl' (now commonly known as freestyle).
  • There is now a pool named after Fanny Durack in Petersham, New South Wales
  • Fanny was featured as a Google Doodle in 2018
  • Durack was Australia’s only individual gold at the 1912 Olympics
  • She was posthumously inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honour Swimmer" in 1967.
  • Sarah Durack Ave at Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney, Australia is named in honour of her.
  • During World War I, a statue in the Somme, France, was hit by a shell slumped to a near-horizontal position. Australian troops nicknamed the leaning statue "Fanny", as it resembled the swimmer diving off the blocks.