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Edwin Flack : 14-April-2013
Edwin Flack : 14-April-2013

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

Footbridge from AAMI park to the Melbourne Cricket Ground commemorates Edwin Flack who was Australias sole representative at the 1896 Athens Olympics.

On the second day at the 1896 Athens Olympic Games, Flack won Australia`s first gold medal in the 1500 metres run. On the fourth day he also won gold in the 800metres run (although silver medals were actually awarded to first place getters at these Games). He also unsuccessfully competed in two tennis events and the Marathon.

The local population took to the young Australian and he was soon dubbed "the Lion of Athens" for his indomitable spirit and inspiring ability. He returned to a distinguished accountancy career in Melbourne in 1898 before retiring to a cattle property in Berwick.

Due to his efforts in Athens, Australia is one of only a handful of countries to have been represented at every modern Olympic Games. He has previously been honoured with the release of a $10 coin and a postage stamp and a street running alongside Olympic Stadium in Sydney is named after him.

Location

Address:Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne, 3000
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.822492
Long: 144.983151
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Sport

Dedication

Front Inscription

Edwin Flack Footbridge  Olympic Boulevard

Edwin Flack was the sole Australian to compete in the first Modern Olympic Games, in 1896 in Athens, Greece.  Flack took part in the 800m and 1500m track events, the marathon and the tennis (singles and doubles).

He won the 800m and 1500m Olympic championships.  He also led the marathon until the final few kilometres, despite never having competed over the distance before.  In tennis, he and his partner, the Englishman George Robertson, were beaten in a semi-final of the men`s doubles.

Born in England in 1873, Flack was a Melbourne accountant who later became a successful dairy farmer in Berwick.  In 1914 he represented Australia at an internation athletic conference in Lyon, France, and soon afterwards at a congress of the International Olympic Committee in Paris.

Edwin Flack died in 1935.  A large number of charitable and welfare organisations continue to benefit from his estate through a charitable trust established under his will.

Melbourne Olympic Parks

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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