13 May 1999

UQ's Olympic starts immortalised

An honour board of 46 University graduates and staff who have represented Australia in Olympic Games since 1948 could become part of a permanent sports museum or hall of fame at the St Lucia campus.

The distinctive $2000 roll, which hangs in the foyer of the UQ Sport building, was donated by the University's Alumni Association.

The unveiling ceremony, performed this month (MAY 12) by Alumni Association president Associate Professor Lesley Williams, was attended by several Australian Olympians who are either University staff or graduates.

They included Sue Hooper (Lewis), a swimmer at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Kerry Johnson, a 100m and 200m sprinter who represented Australia at both Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, and Garry Calvert, coach of the national javelin team in Los Angeles in 1984.

Dr Williams said the honour board was the first piece in what is hoped will be a comprehensive collection of information and memorabilia.

"I spoke to the Vice-Chancellor about the idea and he was very supportive, as was the executive of the Alumni Association," she said.

"We know that many of the past Olympians have blazers and other items which they would like to see displayed in a museum or hall of fame. We now have the board, hopefully the collection will begin to build up."

An important addition to the collection and a reference source will be a booklet being produced on the University's Olympians by Dr Ian Jobling from Department of Human Movement Studies.

The University's first Olympian, and the first entry on the honour board, is swimmer Nancy Lyons, who represented Australia at the 1948 London Olympics. Her participation was discovered through a report on her return published in the University newspaper Semper.

Other past champions featured include triple Olympic swimmer and now Brisbane doctor, David Thiele (1956, 1960 and 1964), dual Olympic athlete Tony Blue (1956 and 1960), also a Brisbane doctor, and four-time Olympic basketballer Larry Sengstock (1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992).

Current swimming superstars and gold medallists Kieren Perkins and Susie O'Neill (1992 and 1996), are also recognised.

The latest entry is Angus Ross, a bobsledder at the 1998 Winter Olympics at Nagano, Japan.

Dr Williams said the honour board would last well into the new century because it was large enough to fit many more entries, and those names already listed could be moved around to accommodate future Olympians.