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News & Media > Alumnae Awards > 2020 Alumnae Award Recipients > Lorraine Thurlow AM (Crapp, 1955)

Lorraine Thurlow AM (Crapp, 1955)

2020 Alumnae Award for Sporting Achievements
Lorraine Thurlow AM (Crapp, 1955)
Lorraine Thurlow AM (Crapp, 1955)

Lorraine Thurlow AM attended MLC School from kindergarten to Senior School. She is a former Australian Olympic Swimming Champion and was one of the group who spearheaded Australia’s domination of world swimming in the 1950s. Lorraine earned a place in world swimming history as the first woman to break the five-minute barrier in the 400m freestyle.

Her family moved to Jervis Bay to Burwood and then to Mortlake, where she joined the Cabarita Swimming Club and by the age of 12 was the winner of all her age events in freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke.

In 1954, at the age of 15 years, Lorraine represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada, winning gold medals in the 110yds and 440yds Freestyle.

In 1956, Lorraine was selected to represent Australia at the Melbourne Olympic Games, winning 2 gold and 1 silver medal, also achieving 17 World Records during the lead up to the Games. She became the first Australian swimmer, male or female, to hold World Records in all freestyle distances at the same time. 

Lorraine also competed at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales and the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy - winning medals at both. During her career Lorraine set as total of 23 World Records.

On 8 June 1998, she was named as Member of the Order of Australia service to sport, ‘particularly swimming at national and international levels, and to the community through the promotion of sport and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.’

Lorraine attended the opening of the MLC School Aquatic Centre, which was officially opened by Dawn Fraser. She is one of nine "Legends" of the Path of Champions at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

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