The names Garrard and Torquay and Olympics go hand in hand and what an amazing connection it is, spanning over 80 years
Dick Garrard (senior) a founding member of the Torquay Surf Club, had one of the longest careers of any wrestler ever. He qualified for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He also representated Australia in 1948 in London and 1952 in Helsinki. He won a silver medal in the 1948 Olympic welterweight freestyle class. He also won three gold medals (1934, 1938, and 1950) and one bronze medal (1954) at the Empire Games (all four in the lightweight freestyle class) and won a gold medal at the Pan-Pacific Games
He was awarded an MBE in 1970 and an OBE in 1976.
After his competition days were over , He became an international judge and referee as well as chairman of the Olympic Wrestling Technical Committee. He was involved with the every Olympics until the 2000 Sydney Olympics (except for the 1980 Moscow Games which he boycotted) as either a judge, referee, section manager, mat chairman, a delegate to the Congrees or simply as a VIP. He was manager of the Australian wrestling team at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
He was and still is the only Australian wrestler to ever contest an Olympic final
Dick( Junior) a long time Torquay local , and member of the TSLC, made his Olympic mark as a rower . He represented Australia in 1960 in Rome and 1964 in Tokyo. Has had a long connection with the Olympics as a coach. In recent times his expertise has been sought by rowers from around the world . In Sydney in 2000 he coached a pair of US girls to a silver medals in the double sculls.
The full story of the Garrard’s and the Olympics will be in our next “History Matters “ Magazine
Photo shows Dick Garrard (snr) 2nd from left in Berlin 1936 showing visiting German army officers the Australian Kangaroo mascot at the Olympic Village .
Dick Garrard (jnr) in the 3 seat second from right in Tokyo 1964