AUSTRALIA’S oldest Olympian and former Queanbeyan resident Basil Dickinson has died this week, aged 98.
Mr Dickinson, who died in the Sydney suburb of Kingswood on Monday, represented Australia at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games in triple jump.
Basil Charles Dickinson was born in Queanbeyan on 25 April 1915 at the Atkinson Street home of his grandparents, who were descendants of the pioneer Gibbs and Taylor families.
He was an outstanding athlete who specialised in the triple jump (then known as the hop, step and jump). He won the Australian triple jump championship in 1934 at Adelaide, in 1936 at Hobart, and in 1937 at Brisbane.
He was selected in the 22-member Australian team that competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. At Berlin he made a lasting friendship with the famed American sprinter, Jesse Owens.
In 1938 he set a new Australian triple jump record before winning bronze medals in the triple jump at the British Empire Games. In 1939 he won the NSW decathlon championship. Basil Dickinson was then involved in Australian athletics administration for many years. He was chief judge of the jumping events at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.
Basil Dickinson was one of the first batch of Queanbeyan sportspeople to be honoured in the Queanbeyan Sporting Gallery, located in the Indoor Sports Centre on Yass Road. He returned to Queanbeyan with his late wife Bettie on several occasions to take part in dinners and presentations of the Sporting Gallery.
His funeral will be held at Laura Memorial Gardens in the Blue Mountains on Monday, October 21.