Murray Rose, a four-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer for Australia, died Sunday, April 15 at the age of 73 after a battle with leukemia, reports the AP. Rose was born Jan. 6, 1939 in Nairn Scotland, but moved to Australia shortly after World War II ended.
Rose represented Australia at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games where he won three gold medals for the host country. He is pictured, right, at those games – he was just 17 years old.
In 1960, he won a gold, silver and a bronze at the Rome Olympic Games. Rose swam both short and long distances, winning gold in the 400 freestyle, 1500 free and 4x-200 free relay.
Rose eventually set 15 world records.
“I’m just extremely sad at the passing of one of the greatest swimmers
of all time and a great mate,” says John Konrads, who beat out Rose for
the gold in the 1500 free in Rome.
In a joint statement, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Sports Minister Kate Lundy write:
“Murray was a true pioneer of Australian swimming and his impressive feats in the pool helped to shape Australia’s destiny as a successful sporting nation. There is no disputing that the Olympian was a champion in the pool, but Murray also made an immense contribution to the community through charity work and as patron of The Rainbow Club, which teaches children with a disability to swim.”
Rose is survived by his wife Jodi and son Trevor.