1894 - 1955
Nick Winter made history twice at the Paris Olympic Games in 1924. He was the first Australian to compete in an Olympic field event - and the nation’s first field gold medallist. The triple jump was so little known in Australia that it was not even included in the national championships until six years after Winter’s Olympic victory. A fireman stationed at Manly, Sydney, Winter was the last person chosen in the Australian team for the Paris Games - probably because, at 29, he was untried against competition outside Sydney. Although he had established an Australasian record of 14.5 metres, his experience was limited to club competition.
Winter was a natural athlete, and very versatile. He played snooker, rugby league football, cricket, tennis, golf, wrestling … and a few off-centre sports like the single tug of war and backward cycling. He loved the leaping events: he did well in the high jump and hurdles, but excelled at the running hop, step and jump (which became the triple jump). He worked as a labourer before enlisting in World War I in 1915, serving in Egypt and France.
Winter won his Paris gold medal with his third jump - the last of the competition. Having fouled three times in five jumps, he decided to make a certainty of a valid leap by taking off inches before he reached the board. In clearing 15.52m, he broke a world record that had stood for 13 years. He competed again at the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928, but was unable to reproduce his best form.
Harry Gordon, AOC Historian