The latest from STOKE HILL PRESS ...
Olympic Gold Medallist John Devitt has co-authored a biography of his hero, Olympic Gold Medallist Cecil Healy.
Healy remains Australia’s only Olympic Gold Medallist to die at war.
At Stockholm in 1912, Healy was responsible for one of the most inspiring and generous gestures in the history of Australian sport.
The centenary of Cecil Healy’s death occurs on August 29 ...
CECIL HEALY WAS JUST 36 when he died in France in 1918, but he achieved plenty in a remarkable life. He was at the forefront of Australia’s first great era of swimming, the nation’s early Olympic experiences and the rise of the surf lifesaving movement. He was an evocative journalist and hard-working administrator who helped organise the famous visit of Duke Kahanamoku to Australia in 1915, an adventure that inspired generations of surfboard riders. At the Stockholm Olympics, Healy refused to swim in the 100-metres final unless the Duke, the favourite, was allowed to compete. The great Hawaiian had missed his semi-final after a misunderstanding over the starting time. Healy’s gesture cost him victory but earned him a place in sport’s pantheon of true champions. The contrast between his conduct and recent sporting controversies such as cricket’s ball-tampering affair is stark.
John Devitt won gold medals at the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games. As an elite young swimmer, as a resident of Manly on Sydney’s northern beaches, where Healy once lived, and as a noted swimming historian, Devitt became engrossed in the Healy legend. This book became a labour of love. In 2017, Devitt and co-author Larry Writer travelled to the UK and toured the battlefields of France, a pilgrimage covered by the ABC's 7.30 Report.
'Our quest was exhaustive,’ Devitt says of the research and writing process. ‘Cecil Healy deserves no less.’
Cecil Healy: A Biography is available in Australia via this website and wherever good books are sold.