Audio Jan Andrew recalls swimming at the 1960 Olympics

TLF ID R8912

This is an edited sound recording of Australian swimmer Janice ('Jan') Andrew (nee Thornett) recalling how she won medals at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. She says that members of the Australian team had none of the special swimwear or support staff available to elite swimmers today. She also outlines her continuing work as a swimming coach, stressing that she encourages children to learn to swim for pleasure and safety reasons, not to be elite performers. The recording was made in November 2006 and lasts for 1 min 44 s.



Educational details

Educational value
  • This recording is a reminder of an era in which Australia's top swimmers were not professionals and lacked the high degree of support that elite swimmers have today. Sydney-born Andrew (1943-) says that the Australian swimming team at the 1960 Olympics in Rome had no goggles or swimming caps. She recalls that the team had a manager, but did not have psychologists, physiotherapists or masseuses - support staff regarded as essential today.
  • Andrew recalls perhaps her most notable individual achievement as a swimmer - winning bronze in the women's 100-m butterfly event at the 1960 Olympics (Carolyn Schuler of the USA won gold and Marianne Heemskerk of the Netherlands silver). Another of Andrew's individual achievements was holding the world record in the women's 100-m butterfly between April and August 1961.
  • Andrew was a member of the team that won silver in the women's 4 x 100-m medley relay in the 1960 Olympics (the USA won gold and Germany bronze). The other members of the team were Marilyn Wilson (backstroke), Rosemary Lassig (breaststroke) and Dawn Fraser (freestyle). Andrew swam the butterfly leg.
  • Swimming has been on the program of every summer Olympics since the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. Australia became the world's top swimming nation at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, winning eight gold medals. At the Rome Olympics, Australia won five gold medals in swimming. Australia has also performed well in swimming at other Olympics, including Sydney in 2000 (five gold) and Athens in 2004 (seven gold).
  • In the recording, Andrew tells how she became a swimming coach after retiring from competitive swimming. She says she takes a casual approach to coaching, meaning she does not push young swimmers to try to become top performers. Rather, Andrew says she encourages young people to view swimming as an enjoyment, not a chore, while learning how to look after themselves in the water.
  • Andrew's swimming speciality was the butterfly, a stroke that originated in Australia in the 1930s when it was realised that breaststrokers could go faster by lifting their arms out of the water and by using a dolphin-like 'fishtail' kick rather than the traditional frog-like kick. In 1953, swimming authorities declared the butterfly a separate stroke from the breaststroke in international competitions.

Other details

Contributors
  • Author
  • Person: Jan Andrew
  • Description: Author
  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Content provider
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Person: Jan Andrew
  • Description: Author
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Colour independence
  • Device independence
Learning Resource Type
  • Audio
Rights
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.