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Anita Lonsbrough

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Title: Anita Lonsbrough  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Beverley Whitfield, Hugh Porter, Anne Ottenbrite, Clare Dennis, BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award
Collection: 1941 Births, Bbc Sports Personality of the Year Winners, Commonwealth Games Gold Medallists for England, Commonwealth Games Silver Medallists for England, English Olympic Medallists, English Swimmers, European Aquatics Championships Medalists in Swimming, Female Breaststroke Swimmers, Female Medley Swimmers, Former World Record Holders in Swimming, International Swimming Hall of Fame Inductees, Living People, Members of the Order of the British Empire, Olympic Gold Medallists for Great Britain, Olympic Medalists in Swimming, Olympic Swimmers of Great Britain, People Educated at St. Joseph's Catholic College, Bradford, People from Huddersfield, Sportspeople from Yorkshire, Swimmers at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Swimmers at the 1960 Summer Olympics, Swimmers at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Swimmers at the 1964 Summer Olympics
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Anita Lonsbrough

Anita Lonsbrough
Medal record
Women's swimming
Competitor for  Great Britain
Olympic Games
1960 Rome 200 m breaststroke
European Championships
1962 Leipzig 200 m breaststroke
1958 Budapest 200 m breaststroke
1962 Leipzig 400 m individual medley
1958 Budapest 4×100 m medley
1962 Leipzig 4×100 m medley
Competitor for  England
British Empire and Commonwealth Games
1958 Cardiff 220 yd breaststroke
1958 Cardiff 4×110 yd medley
1962 Perth 110 yd breaststroke
1962 Perth 220 yd breaststroke
1962 Perth 440 yd individual medley
1962 Perth 4×110 yd medley

Anita Lonsbrough, MBE (born 10 August 1941 in York[1]), later known by her married name Anita Porter, is a former swimmer from Great Britain who won a gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics.


  • Swimming career 1
  • Biography 2
  • Honours 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Swimming career

At the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff she won gold in the 220 yards breaststroke and the medley relay.

At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, on 27 August 1960, at the age of 19, she won gold in the 200 m breaststroke in 2:49.5 ahead of West Germany's Wiltrud Urselmann (2:50.0), setting a new world record time. She was one of only two GB gold medallists that year, the other being Don Thompson in the 50 kilometre walk.[2]

She would also be the last British woman to win Olympic gold in swimming until Rebecca Adlington gained the gold in the 2008 Summer Olympics, 48 years later.[3]

At the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth she won three golds: 110 yards breaststroke; 220 yards breaststroke; and 440 yards individual medley.

At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo she came seventh in the 400 m individual medley


Lonsbrough was educated at St. Joseph's Catholic College, Bradford.[4] She became a Treasurer's Office clerk employed at the Huddersfield Town Hall. She won her first gold medal for swimming in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff. Five world records and seven gold medals followed until her retirement in 1964. At one time she held the Olympic, Empire and European titles at the same time.

She is married to cycling commentator and former leading British professional track cyclist Hugh Porter; they met travelling to Tokyo for the 1964 Summer Olympics and married in 1965.[5][6] The couple live in Wolverhampton, and, after a spell teaching swimming including the P.E. Dept at Ounsdale High School, she is currently a sports commentator and journalist for The Daily Telegraph, under the name Anita Lonsbrough-Porter.


Anita Lonsbrough was the first female flag bearer for Great Britain at the Summer Games when she carried the flag in the opening ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics. She was the first woman winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1962.

She was awarded an MBE in 1963 for services to swimming.

In 1983 she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

See also


  1. ^ "50 years ago today, Huddersfield swimmer Anita Lonsbrough received her Olympic gold medal". Huddersfield Examiner. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Burnton, Simon (12 June 2012). "50 stunning Olympic moments No38: Don Thompson takes walking gold".  
  3. ^ "Adlington snatches swimming gold". BBC Sport. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Flats named".  
  6. ^ Ringland, Nigel (12 August 2008). "No chance to relax in the Water Cube. The Beijing Olympics".  

External links

  • BBC Sport - "Rider's legends: Anita Lonsbrough"
  • British Olympic Association - Rome 1960
  • Olympic database
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame profile
  • International Olympic Committee results database
  • My Yorkshire - Anita talks about the 1960 Olympics victory
Preceded by
Stirling Moss
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Succeeded by
Dorothy Hyman
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