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Nunn, Glynis (1960 - )


4 December 1960
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Athletics coach, Commonwealth or Empire Games Gold Medalist, Olympian and Track and Field Athlete
Alternative Names
  • Nunn, Glynis (former married name)
  • Nunn-Cearns, Glynis (married name)
  • Saunders, Glynis (maiden name)


Glynis Nunn is the only Australian to have won an Olympic multi-discipline athletics event. She won gold in the heptathlon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.


Glynis Nunn began competing in athletics at the age of nine, when still a student at Toowoomba South State School. At fifteen, she won six events in the State championships and set records in five. She qualified for the Commonwealth Games in 1978 but couldn't compete due to injury. The heptathlon replaced the pentathlon in 1981, and prior to the 1982 Commonwealth Games, Glynis moved to Adelaide to train with Olympic coach John Daly. It was there that she married her first husband, decathlete Chris Nunn. Glynis won gold at the inaugural Commonwealth Games championship in 1982.

Having left her job as a physical education teacher in 1983 to concentrate on training, Glynis Nunn won gold at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984, beating American favourite Jackie Joyner by just a few points. Nunn also made the finals for the 100m hurdles and the long jump, and was placed fifth and seventh respectively. After the Games, she switched from the heptathlon to hurdling. She won bronze in the high hurdles event in the 1986 Commonwealth Games, but was later plagued by injury.

Nunn left competitive sport in 1990, by which time she had remarried. She now has an extensive background in sports coaching, and has worked as a sprint coach for the Brisbane Lions AFL football team. Nunn-Cearns lectures in fitness and is sought after for public speaking engagements. She was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her contribution to athletics.


Gold Medalist at Brisbane Commonwealth Games - Athletics - Heptathlon
Gold Medalist at the Los Angeles Olympic Games - Athletics - Heptathlon

Sources used to compile this entry: Vamplew, Vray; Moore, Katharine; O'Hara, John; Cashman, Richard; Jobling, Ian (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Australian Sport, Revised Second edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1997. John A. Daly, p. 311.;; NB: The National Library of Australia holds biographical cuttings on Glynis Nunn-Cearns, schoolteacher, Record ID: 1983320.

Barbara Lemon

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