SYDNEY — Forbes Carlile, a pioneering influence in the sport of swimming and the only person to have represented Australia at an Olympics first as a coach and then as an athlete, has died. He was 95.
The Australian Olympic Committee on Tuesday said Carlile died after spending three weeks in a Sydney hospital.
Carlile “left an enormous legacy on the world of swimming and will be remembered by former and current swimmers and coaches from all around the world today and especially when the Olympic swimming competition starts in Rio on Aug. 6,” the AOC said in a statement.
Carlile was credited with developing elite training techniques in her era, starting Australia’s first commercial swimming school and coaching 52 swimmers to an elite international level — a collection of athletes, including Shane Gould, who combined for 12 Olympic gold medals and set 31 individual world records.
He was a swimming coach for Australia at the 1948 Olympics in London, and four years later became the first Australian to compete in modern pentathlon at the Olympics. He later worked with the Australian swim teams at the 1956 and ‘60 Olympics.
Kitty Chiller, team leader for the Australian Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro and a former modern pentathlon competitor, described Carlile as “a true legend in Australian Olympic history as both an athlete and a coach.”