Jessica McSweeney is a Bachelor of Communication student at UTS. You can follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessicamacca
Australian olympic hero Betty Cuthbert was remembered at a state memorial at Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday.
The service was lead by broadcaster Alan Jones, who gave Ms Cuthbert’s eulogy.
“Betty, today we honour you with the same depth of emotion with which we have always loved you - and that will be forever.”
The service was attended by Ms Cuthbert’s close family including twin Marie, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, NSW MP Stuart Aryes and members of the public.
Ms Cuthbert’s shyness, humility and faith were celebrated throughout the state memorial.
“Betty would not want us celebrating gold medals, she’d want us celebrating the journey in which she found, among adversity, a deep faith,” said Mr Jones.
Ms Cuthbert became Australia's Golden Girl through her unique sprinting style which won her four gold medals.
She became a household name as the 18-year-old who won the 100m, 200m, and 4 x 100m relay at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
At the time, she was the first Australian to win three gold medals at a single Olympics, and she remains the only athlete in history to win all three events.
After injury brought her down at the Rome Olympics, she achieved a stunning comeback at Tokyo in 1964, earning her fourth gold medal in the 400m.
"Before massive contracts, massive drug cheats and massive egos ... she espoused what we believe great champions to be,” Mr Joyce said.
Ms Cuthbert died earlier this month aged 79 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.
“Rather than complain about her suffering she found reason and purpose,” said Mr Joyce said.
A gold medalist at just 18, Ms Cuthbert was remembered for her immense sporting talent and achievements including being the first woman member of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust.
Ms Cuthbert’s nephew Peter Johnson reflected on the woman behind the medals.
“Despite all her success she remained the down to earth girl from Ermington, forever humble and never graceful.”
Former athlete and friend Marlene Mathews was also in attendance and read the poem 'Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep'.
Ms Cuthbert’s family previously declined the offer of a state funeral in Western Australia, preferring to have a private funeral.