Dame Yvette Corlett (nee Williams)


25 April 1929


Long jump
Shot Put


Otago Athletic Club, Pakuranga Athletics Club

Yvette Corlett (nee Williams) was the first New Zealand woman to win a gold medal at an Olympic Games. Pioneer and legendary in New Zealand sport Williams won the gold medal in the long jump at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games as Olympian 76.

This is her recount of that historic day.

“After having two no jumps I had the fear maybe I would have another no jump again and everybody back home would be so disappointed and I would have a fear to go back home again. Fortunately the third jump was legal and put me in fourth place. The top six competitors could have another three jumps and on the fourth jump I hit the board and first of all, the judge put up a red flag and then changed it for the white. The New Zealand supporters who were in the stand came down on to the track and carried me shoulder high from the pitch with the New Zealand flag draped behind me. I then had to go to the dais and stand on the number one place and to see the New Zealand flag go up and our ...