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Black and white photograph of a man cycling. - click to view larger image
Dunc Gray on his Speedwell bicycle

A major new acquisition relating to champion cyclist Edgar ‘Dunc’ Gray allows us to reflect on Australia's first Olympic cycling gold medallist.

Goulburn Evening Penny Post, August 1932:

Don Bradman and Dunc Gray were two real specimens of what Australian sportsmanship should be.

This declaration was made in response to a question that raises as much relevance now as it did back then: Are we good sports?

Cycling champion

Ask Australians today to write a list of the greatest Australian athletes of all time and you'd be certain to find the name Don Bradman somewhere near the top.

But Dunc Gray is another Australian sportsman of the same era who in his time was considered to be of the same quality – both as an athlete and also as a person of character.

It was my privilege as an intern at the National Museum of Australia to research the Dunc Gray collection, a treasure trove of objects and ephemera recently donated by his son Mark.

National Historical Collection

Gray was something of a bowerbird and the number of objects he collected across his Olympic and cycling career was not only immense, but their narrative worth was, frankly, astonishing.

An old rusted bicycle with the text: SPEEDWELL printed on its downtube.

Dunc Gray’s track racing bicycle

From his Olympic medals, official team blazers and the Australian flag he carried at the 1936 Berlin Olympics to  souvenir torch holders produced to mark the first Olympic torch relay and a blueprint for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic village, Dunc Gray’s collection is a remarkable gift to the nation.

In our collection

Official Programme for the cycling on the 4th of December at the XVI OlympiadAn "Official Programme" for the cycling on the 4th of December at the XVI Olympiad. There are spaces inside the program for results.
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