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Australia’s first Olympian. Was he Australian?

Defining Moments in Australian History

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Our first Olympian

Was he Australian?

The first Olympics of the modern era took place in Athens, Greece in 1896, five years before Australian Federation.

Close portrait of Edwin Flack in black and white
Edwin Flack. Wikimedia Commons.

One of the most successful athletes at those games was Edwin Flack who won the 800-metre and 1500-metre running races as well as a bronze in doubles tennis. Flack was born in London but moved with his family to Melbourne at the age of five. He competed under the British flag, but considered himself a Victorian and, after Federation, an Australian.

Flack is considered the first Aussie Olympian and Australia is one of only five nations to have competed in every modern summer Olympics to date.