Olympic champion shares inspiring tale of courage

SANDRA Morgan-Beavis doesn't want people to focus on her extraordinary achievements as the youngest Australian ever to win an Olympic gold medal. Sandra Morgan-Beavis speaking at the Seasons Christian Women's Conference at HumeRidge Church of Christ. Kevin Farmer

SANDRA Morgan-Beavis doesn't want people to focus on her extraordinary achievements as the youngest Australian ever to win an Olympic gold medal.

Instead, she prefers to help other women run the race of life more effectively by relating the deeper story of her personal journey through fame, loneliness as a young athlete, faith and her “miraculous” victory over the life-threatening disease Lupus.

On Saturday she told her story to an audience of 700 women at the HumeRidge Church of Christ's Seasons conference.

As Sandra Morgan, she swam in the relay team with Dawn Fraser in the 1956 Olympics, winning gold at the age of 14 years and six months.

“My father announced in the pub on the day after I was born that I would be an Australian swimming champion,” Ms Morgan-Beavis said.

He was right, but she became an Olympic champion first.

“It was only when I won five Australian gold medals the following February that he said 'Now you can do whatever you want'.”

Saturday's program included inspirational singer Candice Casagrande and two courageous men in a hilarious tribute to well-known comedians Roy and HG.

The Seasons women's conference is held annually by the HumeRidge Church of Christ.

Spokesperson Alison Feldman said the gathering was designed to be a multifaceted experience for women.

“We hold this conference as our way of encouraging, supporting and helping women of all seasons of life grow to become effective in their daily lives,” Ms Feldman said.

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