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Davies, Judy Joy (1926 - 2016)

21 February 1926
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
27 March 2016
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Commonwealth or Empire Games Gold Medalist, Olympian and Swimmer


Judith Joy Davies was an Australian Olympian who won a bronze medal in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London and followed up with three gold medals at the 1950 Empire Games in Auckland. She won seventeen Australian championships in freestyle, backstroke and medley swimming. After finishing her swimming career she worked as a sporting journalist for the Melbourne newspapers The Argus and The Sun-News Pictorial.

Davies was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2011 as a General Member for her contribution as a sportswriter. She was one of the first women journalists to break into covering all sports when she started working with the Melbourne newspaper The Argus, in an era when women sports writers were normally confined to covering women's sport. Her Argus experience included covering the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver and then the 1956 Olympics in her home town of Melbourne.

When the Argus ceased publication in 1957 she joined the rival Sun News Pictorial where she was to cover local and international sport for the next 31 years. She was widely respected by both editors and athletes and in 1982 was awarded the National Press Club Award for Sports Journalism.



Bronze Medalist at the London Olympic Games - Swimming - 100m Backstroke
Gold Medalist at Auckland Empire Games - Swimming - 110y backstroke; 4 x 110y freestyle relay; 3 x 110y medley relay
Competed in Helsinki

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Judy Joy Davies', in Sport Australia Hall of Fame Website, 2012,; Henningham, Robert, Record-breaking swimmer became champion sports writer, The Age, 8 May 2016,; Stell, Marion K., Half the Race, A history of Australian women in sport, Harper Collins, North Ryde, 1991; Swimming Australia Website, [accessed 2016-03-30].

Nikki Henningham

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