Murray Rose, Australian Swimming Champion, Passes Away At 73

Murray Rose, the legendary swimmer who took home four Olympic Gold medals to Australia, has passed away at the age of 73.

According to Sports Illustrated, Rose died on Sunday after a long battle with leukemia.

Swimming Australia president David Urquhart said:

“Murray Rose is part of the swimming DNA in this country. His success inspired a generation and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends during this difficult time.”

SI reports that Rose, who was born in Scotland, won three golds during the 1956 Olympic games in Melbourne. At just 17 Rose brought home Golds in the 400, 1,500, and 4 X 200 freestyle relay. Four years later Rose took home another Gold, as well as a bronze and a silver, from the Olympics in Rome.

Kieren Perkins, a two-time Olympic 1,500 champion, said:

“Murray was one of those statesmen of Australian sport and it’s almost beyond describing the impact that he had not only on swimming but Australian sport in general. I was fortunate enough to interact with him before the 1992 Olympics and he gave me valuable advice that helped me achieve what I did at those games.”

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Sports Minister Kate Lundy said in a joint statement:

“Murray was a true pioneer of Australian swimming and his impressive feats in the pool helped to shape Australia’s destiny as a successful sporting nation. There is no disputing that the Olympian was a champion in the pool, but Murray also made an immense contribution to the community through charity work and as patron of The Rainbow Club, which teaches children with a disability to swim.”

Rose set 15 swimming records throughout his career. He is survived by his wife Jodi and son Trevor.