Sandra Morgan

Sandra Morgan

Sandra Anne Morgan (born 6 June 1942) is a former Australian freestyle swimmer, who won gold in the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. At the age of 14 years and 6 months, she became the youngest Australian to win an Olympic gold medal, a record that still stands. Morgan began serious training in early 1956 and won Olympic selection for the relay team as well as the 400 m freestyle. Morgan's selection in the final quartet raised controversy because of her inexperience in top-level racing and her history of false starts. During the final, she lifted her head out of the water and saw her American opponent ahead of her, prompting her to regain the lead with a late burst in the third leg. Australia went on to win the relay in world record time. In her only individual event, Morgan came sixth in the 400 m freestyle.

In 1957, she won the 110–220–440 yd treble at the Australian Championships in the absence of her main rivals, but from that point on her career was plagued by illness and weight problems. She was selected in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games purely as a relay swimmer, winning gold in the event. At her second Olympics in 1960 in Rome, she only competed in the relay heats; her teammates went on to win silver in the final. She retired from competitive swimming following the Rome Olympics. In retirement, she has continued her involvement in swimming and the Olympics by teaching disabled children to swim and participating in Olympic educational programs and torch relays. She is also an ambassador for Australia Day and has appeared on television as part of her work with Christian groups.

Read more about Sandra Morgan:  Early Years, National Selection, 1956 Summer Olympics, Later Career, After Swimming

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