Vale Graham Bond
Gymnastics Australia is saddened to learn of the passing of Hall of Fame member, Graham Bond (82).
Bond was inducted into the Gymnastics Australia Hall of Fame at the Annual General Meeting held in May earlier this year, and was due to be presented with his award at the National Clubs Carnival. He was an incredibly popular and deserving addition to Gymnastics Australia’s Hall of Fame, as the only male gymnast to have represented Australia at three Olympic Games, 1956, 1960 and 1964.
Born in Wondai – in the hinterland on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast – Bond took part in almost every sport on offer at Wondai State School; from athletics to football to cricket. However it was gymnastics that Graham really connected with, after being introduced to the sport through the National Fitness Council at the Wondai showground pavillion.
Fast forward to 1956 and Bond – aged just 19 - was selected to represent Australia at his first Olympic Games, held in Melbourne in December 1956. Little did he know that he would go on to become one of Australia’s most decorated male gymnasts, when he went on to make the Australian team which competed in Rome four years later, and captained the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics team that took to the floor at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Off the competition floor Bond has also experience significant success, being awarded a Rhodes scholarship to study philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University. Bond was also selected to carry the Olympic Torch from Wondai to Murgon in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Gymnastics Australia CEO, Kitty Chiller, paid tribute to Bond and his contribution to the sport of Gymnastics.
“We were very saddened to hear of Graham’s passing over the weekend,” Ms Chiller said. “Graham’s contribution to our sport – particularly in the discipline of Men’s Artistic Gymnastics – was unparalleled, demonstrated by the fact that he still holds the record of being the only Australian male gymnast to have competed at three Olympic Games today.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.”