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Kirklees Sporting Heroes - Anita Lonsbrough MBE

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About Anita's Story

At the 1960 Rome Olympics, nineteen year old Anita Lonsbrough, from Huddersfield, won Gold in one of swimming's most closely fought races.

Her main rival for the women's 200m was German swimmer Wiltrud Urselmann. Just when Anita, and the audience, had thought victory was certain, Urselmann stormed back in a last desperate push. Even the watching BBC commentators became frantic at the unfolding struggle. Anita fought off this attempt and stormed to victory.

Two years later in 1962, she became the first female Sports Personality of the Year and is the first swimmer to have been awarded the MBE.

Anita now works as swimming correspondent for The Daily Telegraph.


You can watch a video clip of Anita talking about her victory and how it felt to be a local hero - just click the link below.

Excerpt from the short film ‘Our Sporting Greats’ made for Kirklees Museums and Galleries by Chris Squire and Andy Wicks of Impossible Theatre (web link below).

Archive footage courtesy of the Olympic Television Archives Bureau.

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