NZ first female gold Olympian passes away age 89

By Te Ao - Māori News

New Zealand's first female Olympic gold medallist, Yvette Williams, has passed away age 89.

Ms Williams' story and contribution to NZ sport has helped pave the way for a generation of young Kiwi athletes.

In 1952, Williams won gold in the long jump at the Helsinki Olympic Games.

She jumped 6.24m for the historic win and returned to New Zealand as a national hero.

New Zealand Olympic Committee President, Mike Stanley, "She was a truly humble New Zealander who was deeply passionate about sport and young athletes."

Williams went on to further sporting success and in 1954 broke the world record for women’s long jump leaping 6.29m in Gisborne.

She also competed in the discus and shot put, and across her disciplines won four gold medals and one silver at Commonwealth Games events.

Williams was named “Sportsman of the Year" twice in her sporting career in 1950 and 1952 and voted Athlete of the Decade for the 1950s.

She was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

Stanley says, "Yvette Williams was a trailblazer and a true beacon of what is possible for women in sport."