HerStory Archive

BOYLE, Raelene

Born: 24/6/1951

Special Achievements:

Raelene Boyle was an Olympic champion sprinter.  She won the Silver Medal at the Mexico Olympics (1968) at 16 yrs of age - which, at the time, was the youngest Australian medal winner. Raelene was the first woman to carry the Australian flag at an opening ceremony (Montreal 1976).  She won 3 Olympic Silver Medals and 7 Commonwealth Games Gold Medals in a career spanning from 1968-1982.  

Some people consider Boyle unlucky not to have won Olympic gold as some athletes who beat her were later revealed to have used anabolic steroids. The International Olympic Committee ban the use of anabolic steroids in 1975.  And at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, in her target event, the 200 metres, Boyle was disqualified after being ruled guilty of two false starts. Film footage later demonstrated that she hadn’t jumped the gun in the first of them. Raelene Boyle was Australia’s only medallist, male or female, on the track between 1968 and 1980.

Additional Information:

In June 1974, Raelene was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire and in 2007 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the community through a range of roles with organisations that support people with cancer.  In 2017, Boyle was named a Legend in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.  In April 2018, Raelene Boyle was awarded an Order of Merit by the Australian Olympic Committee. An Order of Merit is awarded to a person who in the opinion of the Executive has achieved remarkable merit in the sporting world, either through personal achievement or contribution to the development of sport.


Resources

  • Image - HRH The Duke of Edinburgh presenting the Queen's Baton to Raelene Boyle at the XII Commonwealth Games, Brisbane, October 1982

    Image courtesy of Queensland State Archives, available at Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Duke_of_Edinburgh,_October_1982.jpg