Fact of the Day

In 1956 Lorraine Crapp became the first female to beat five minutes for the 400 metres freestyle. She didn't merely trim the world record but clocked 4:47.2 to take a healthy chop out of it. That same year, at the Melbourne Olympics, she won two gold medals and one silver. By the end of 1956 she had broken no fewer than 18 world records.

She won a silver medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics, and also swam in two Commonwealth Games, garnering another two golds, a silver and two bronze medals. Then she dropped from sight to spend the last 30 years with her husband Dr Bill Thurlow in the quiet country town of Palm Springs on the coast of Northern New South Wales.

This year, Lorraine (60) came into the news again when she appeared on the Queen's Birthday Honours as a recipient of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to sport. The Thurlows have four children, Brad 37, Bart 34, Kylie 29, and Kelly 28. She doesn't plan to drive down to Sydney in September 2000 to watch the Games, but thinks "you get a better view on TV, and I don't like the city much."