|Full name||Terrence Steven Gathercole|
25 November 1935|
Tallimba, New South Wales
|Died||30 May 2001
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||76 kg (168 lb)|
Terrence Stephen Gathercole, OAM (25 November 1935 – 30 May 2001), was an Australian breaststroke swimmer of the 1950s and 1960s, who won a silver medal in the 4x100-metre medley relay at the 1960 Summer Olympics. He later became a swimming coach, at one stage being the Australian female team coach for the 1964 Summer Olympics and guiding numerous breaststroke students to Olympic and World Championship gold medals. He also served as the president of Swimming Australia.
Born in Tallimba, New South Wales, Gathercole first came to prominence in the 1954 Australian Championships, when he won the first of his ten Australian Championships. He made his international debut at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, contesting the 200-metre breaststroke, at the first Olympics in which the butterfly stroke was separated from breaststroke swimming. He finished fourth in the final, just 0.1 of a second behind the bronze medalist Charis Yunichev of the Soviet Union.
Gathercole reached the peak of his swimming career in 1958 when he set the world record for the 200-metre breaststroke at the Tobruk Pool in Townsville, Queensland. He held this world record for over three years. In the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales, he won the 220-yard breaststroke and combined with John Monckton, John Devitt and Brian Wilkinson to claim the 4x110-yard medley relay.
Gathercole's final appearance on the international arena as a swimmer was at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, where he won his semifinal of the 200-metre breaststroke. However, in the final he only managed sixth, almost three seconds behind Bill Mulliken of the United States. Gathercole then combined with David Theile, Neville Hayes and Geoff Shipton to claim silver in the 4x100m medley relay, again behind the Americans. Gathercole had at various times in his career held the world record in the 200-metre, 110- and 220-yard breaststroke.
Gathercole then became a coach, beginning as an assistant to Forbes Carlile. At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the Australian Olympic Federation agreed to appoint team coaches for the first time. Gathercole was named as the national women's coach. Among the breaststrokers that Gathercole coached were Ian O'Brien (1964 Summer Olympics 200-metre breaststroke champion), Beverley Whitfield (1972 Summer Olympics 200-metre breaststroke champion), Linley Frame (1991 World Aquatics Championships 100-metre breaststroke champion), Phil Rogers (1992 Summer Olympics 100-metre breaststroke bronze medallist) and Lisa Forrest (dual gold medallist at the 1982 Commonwealth Games). He served as a coach for the national team for 28 years until his retirement in 1992.
He died in 2001 because of heart problems, an illness which he had carried for 15 years after requiring open-heart surgery. A public memorial service at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, where he coached, was attended by Prime Minister John Howard and several federal cabinet ministers.
- List of Commonwealth Games medallists in swimming (men)
- List of Olympic medalists in swimming (men)
- World record progression 200 metres breaststroke
- International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Terry Gathercole (AUS). Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Andrews, Malcolm (2000). Australia at the Olympic Games. Sydney, New South Wales: ABC Books. pp. 174–175. ISBN 0-7333-0884-8.