Australia's first Golden Girl, 1938
This silent clip illustrates Decima Norman's unusual running style. Though unorthodox, it was clearly effective!
Clara ‘Decima’ Norman’s five gold medals at the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney remains the most successful Australian athletics performance at a single games.
'Dashing Dess' won gold in the women's long jump, 220 yard and 100 yard sprints, and two team relays. Her success was remembered over 40 years later when she was selected as the first carrier of the Queen's Baton for the 1982 Commonwealth Games.
Decima had to run the heats, semis and final of the 100 yards all on the same day! She won the final with a time of 11.1 seconds, only one-tenth of a second behind the world record. Her 19 feet 0¼ inches (5.80 metre leap) in the broad jump (long jump) smashed the Empire record.