Anita Lonsbrough

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Anita Lonsbrough
Medal record
Women's swimming
Competitor for  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Gold 1960 Rome 200 m breaststroke
European Championships
Gold 1962 Leipzig 200 m breaststroke
Silver 1958 Budapest 200 m breaststroke
Silver 1962 Leipzig 400 m individual medley
Bronze 1958 Budapest 4×100 m medley
Bronze 1962 Leipzig 4×100 m medley
Competitor for  England
British Empire and Commonwealth Games
Gold 1958 Cardiff 220 yd breaststroke
Gold 1958 Cardiff 4×110 yd medley
Gold 1962 Perth 110 yd breaststroke
Gold 1962 Perth 220 yd breaststroke
Gold 1962 Perth 440 yd individual medley
Silver 1962 Perth 4×110 yd medley

Anita Lonsbrough MBE (born 10 August 1941 in York[1]) is a former swimmer from Great Britain who won a gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Swimming career[edit]

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[edit]


  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". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Adlington snatches swimming gold". BBC Sport. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Flats named". The Catholic Herald. 30 June 1961. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Jones, Andy (6 March 2008). "STAFFORDSHIRE AND SHROPSHIRE WITH HUGH PORTER". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 17 August 2008. 
  6. ^ Ringland, Nigel (12 August 2008). "No chance to relax in the Water Cube. The Beijing Olympics". Irish News (Belfast). Retrieved 17 August 2008. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Stirling Moss
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Succeeded by
Dorothy Hyman