Two of Australia’s greatest swimmers, Olympic champions Jon Henricks and Lorraine Thurlow (nee Crapp), recently donated a never-before-seen film to the NFSA.
This film was shot during their 1954 North American tour, and it includes rare footage of the Australian team’s participation in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada.
The film also follows the men’s swimming team on a road trip down the California coast – including San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego – during which they participated in exhibition events.
THE VANCOUVER GAMES
Australia’s team was, at the time, the second largest to represent the country at an overseas Games. Our 73 athletes won 48 medals, including 20 gold.
Jon Henricks won three medals: gold for 110 yards freestyle, 4×220 yards freestyle relay (with G Chapman, R Aubrey, D Hawkins), and 330 yards medley relay (with C Weld and D Hawkins).
Lorraine Crapp also won three: gold for 110 yards freestyle and 440 yards freestyle; and bronze for the 330 yards medley relay (with D Knight, J Grier).
The following four clips are highlights from the 75-minute film, and are narrated by Jon Henricks and his friend and fellow swimming legend, John Devitt.