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Tokyo Olympic Games name badge

Date: 1964
Dimensions:
Overall: 40 x 20 mm
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Badge
Object No: 00044572

User Terms

    Description
    This gilt metal name badge was issued to Australian swimmer Linda McGill at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Despite not placing at the games, McGill made a stir when she was excluded from competitive swimming for four years as a result of defying a ban and attending the opening ceremony.
    SignificanceIn a swimming career that spanned four decades, Linda McGill produced championship performances in the pool at local club, state, national and international meets, and pioneered women's open water long distance swimming. She represented Australia at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth winning gold, silver and bronze medals, and at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964. McGill was the first person to swim across Port Phillip Bay (1968) and to swim around Hong Kong Island (1976). McGill also became the first Australian to swim the English Channel (1965), and to swim around Manhattan Island (1983). The Linda McGill collection of medals, photos, team uniforms and scrap books documents her remarkable swimming career.
    HistoryLinda McGill MBE (1945 - ) took her first dip in 1946 at the age of one month. She began swimming competitively at age nine and went on to compete at local, national and international levels in both pool and open water marathon events. She broke records, pioneered women's distance swims and produced championship performances in a career that spanned four decades. She retired from competition in 1990.

    McGill began competitive swimming as a schoolgirl, training five days a week with the Cabarita Swimming Club in Sydney. By 13, she had won seven state titles and represented New South Wales at the 1958 National Swimming Championships in Hobart. In 1960, McGill joined Don Tallot's training squad at Bankstown Swimming Pool and specialised in the individual medley. This required perfecting butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle in gruelling daily swims of 9.5km (6miles). Her training paid off, with wins at the 1961 and 1962 Australian National Swimming Championships. She was selected for the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1962 winning gold, silver and bronze medals.

    McGill was selected for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games Australian swimming squad, and finished fifth in the individual medley. She was one of four women famously suspended from competitive swimming by the Amateur Swimming Union of Australia in 1965 for defying a ban on attending the opening ceremony at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Australian team manager Bill Slade banned all swimmers due to compete in the first three days from attending the opening ceremony. They were told to stay at the Olympic village and watch the ceremony on television. Defying the ban McGill, Dawn Fraser, Marlene Dayman and Nan Duncan smuggled themselves onto buses. During a search of the buses McGill and Duncan were found and escorted back to the Olympic village. McGill made a second escape in the company of some rowers and watched the ceremony from the grandstand while Fraser and Dayman marched. As punishment McGill, then aged nineteen, was suspended from competing for four years, Fraser was suspended for ten years and Dayman and Duncan for three years.

    The following year McGill took up marathon swimming and became the first Australian to swim the English Channel on 7 August 1965 in a time of 11 hours 12 minutes. McGill made two more crossings of the English Channel in 1967 - in 13 hours 2 minutes, and 9 hours and 59 minutes - breaking the women's record. In the same year she swam across Sydney Harbour. In 1968 she became the first person to swim across Port Phillip Bay beating a field of nine. In the same year she became the first woman to finish the Capri-Naples marathon but was disqualified after her official guide became seasick and returned to shore. In 1976 McGill became the first person to swim the 48.3 km around Hong Kong. She also made a solo crossing of the sea-snake and shark infested 29 km strait separating Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the Persian Gulf in 1977.

    McGill also swam Lake Ontario, Lake St John and Lake Simone in Canada and from Block Island to Rhode Island on America's east coast. In Australia she swam in the Brisbane to Moreton Island and Townsville to Magnetic Island events. Between 1983 and 1986 she swam in the Manhattan Marathon, becoming the first Australian to swim around Manhattan Island. She retired from competitive swimming in 1990 after the World Masters Games in Rio de Janeiro.

    McGill's autobiography 'Surviving the Sea of Life' was published in 2007.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Tokyo Olympic Games name badge' Linda McGill' 1964

    Collection title: Linda McGill swimming memorabilia

    Web title: Tokyo Olympic Games name badge

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