1994 Edwin Flack TEN DOLLARS
Edwin Flack not only epitomises the Olympic spirit, but the Aussie ethos of 'let's give it a go'. When the Olympic Games were reborn in 1896, the athletes who competed were not sent by their country. Instead, they entered the games individually, for the honour of representing their homeland. Edwin Flack paid his own way to the 1896 Olympics in Athens simply to enjoy some friendly competition. An unassuming man, he didn't consider himself to be a great medal hope and seemed more interested in sight-seeing.
With no athletics village, Flack spent the first day looking for suitable accomodation. Still, he managed to get in a few days training before his first race, the 1500m running event, held on the second day of competition.
Flack soon proved what a class athelete he was, taking on and beating the world record holder. Flack won easily, writing himself into sporting history as Australia's first gold medallist (although silver medals were actually awarded to first place winners in 1896). Two days later, he also won gold in the 800m event.
Returning to Australia, Flack established a successful accounting firm with his father. Never married, he later retired to his cattle property at Burnbank, Victoria and died there at the age of 62. Edwin's modest character was in sharp contrast to his inspiring athletic ability, and his success greatly encouraged the fledgling Olympic movement in Australia.
Source: Certificate of Authenticity accompanying the 1994 Olympic Heritage Specimen $10 pair.
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