The Australian sports blog, Australia’s Bitter Pill, has been analysing women’s sport in Australia and beyond, and today we’re taking a look at five of the sport’s most iconic figures.1.
Helen Wilson – women’s bodybuilder and founder of the Helen Wilson Foundation Helen Wilson was a prolific figure in Australian sport during her career and, in fact, her success was a result of her dedication and hard work.
She was born in Liverpool and came to Australia at the age of five and later moved to Adelaide to study ballet at the University of Adelaide.
In the late 1950s, Wilson became the first Australian to compete at the Olympics, winning silver in the 5,000 metres in 1952.
Wilson moved on to compete in the Olympics in Tokyo in 1956, and in 1957, she won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay in Berlin.
She became the most decorated athlete of her time, having won two Olympic gold medals and two silver medals in Olympic history, and she was voted the greatest athlete of all time by the British and Commonwealth Games Committees.2.
Barbara Walters – anchor of ABC’s 60 Minutes Barbara Walters’ pioneering work in investigative journalism has been described as one of the greatest female journalists of all-time.
Walters broke the stories that would shape Australian culture for the next 50 years, and her work in the 1960s and 70s led to the landmark Whitlam government inquiry into child sexual abuse.
In 1974, Walters became the highest-profile Australian to become the subject of an FBI investigation after she interviewed child sex abuse victims and then-Prime Minister Peter Costello, who was then under investigation for corruption.
Costello was eventually found not to be involved in the abuse and resigned from the Labor Party.
Walters was later interviewed by the ABC’s Barbara Walters programme.
In 2010, Walters and her partner, journalist Bobb Sinclair, founded the Barbara Walters Children’s Foundation and the Barbara and Bobb Walters Foundation.
They also run the Walters Childrens Museum and the Walters Museum of Australia.3.
Victoria Beckham – women tennis player and world number one tennis player Victoria Beckham was born into a wealthy family in Melbourne.
She started playing tennis at the tender age of seven, and at 18 years old, she became the youngest player ever to win a major tennis championship, the Australian Open, at the Australian Championships in Adelaide in 1989.
Beckham was a rising star in Australian tennis, reaching the quarterfinals at the US Open in 1999 and reaching the final at Wimbledon in 2004, and then taking home the US Championship title in 2007.
She then won the Australian women’s title in 2012.
The 25-year-old is the first female tennis player to be awarded the title of world number three and the youngest ever to reach that milestone.4.
Laurie Owen – women boxing champion Laurie Owen is a legend in Australian boxing.
The 36-year old won her first professional bout in 2004 and then became a household name in her home country when she became one of three Australian women to capture the WBO heavyweight title in 2004.
In 2009, Owen won the WBA heavyweight title for the first time in the country’s history.5.
Katie Price – female rugby league star Katie Price has been a fixture in the Australian rugby league game for nearly 30 years.
Price made her professional debut in 2002, and played in seven NRL games for Canberra in 2013.
In 2013, Price became the third female Australian to be named to the All Blacks World Cup squad, after Sam Cane and Kieran Read.