Munich 1972: Shane Gould – Swimming
This delightful sound recording centres on 15 year-old Shane Gould’s famous 200m medley win at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Despite retiring only a few years later, Shane is undoubtedly one of our greatest Olympians. She won three gold medals at Munich – setting a new record in each event.
She is also the only person, male or female, to hold simultaneously every world freestyle record from 100m to 1500m, and also the 200m individual medley world record.
By the time Shane arrived at Munich her reputation had gained such stature that US swimmers took to wearing T-shirts proclaiming 'All that glitters is not Gould' – but she stood up to the challenge.
This excerpt from Great Moments in Australian Sport (1985) features the wonderfully expressive tones of commentator Norman May, introducing the context surrounding Gould and then cutting to an audio segment featuring the original commentary on the race.
The calling of the race itself displays real virtuosity and sounds uniquely Australian. The caller’s ability to communicate the excitement and paint a picture for the listeners is remarkable.
With no time to breathe normally or speak steadily, his spontaneous delivery crescendos just at the right time – still audible over the crowd noise – to bring the call to a gripping finish.
In an Olympics which will always be remembered – and marred – by the horrific Munich massacre (where 11 Israeli athletes, one West German police officer and five Palestinian terrorists were slain), we must not forget the brilliant achievements of our athletes – who worked so hard and brought pride and joy to people around the world.