Murray Rose

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Murray Rose, Olympic Champion and namesake for the Murray Rose's Malabar Magic Ocean Swim in Sydney, Australia
Murray Rose's book Life is Worth Swimming to be published in 2013 by Arbon Publishing
Iain Murray Rose AM (1939-2012) was an Olympic swimming champion at the age of 17 at both the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the 1960 Rome Olympics. He also has competed in numerous open water swims and pool competitions as a masters swimmers. Rose was born in Birmingham, England but he moved to Australia with his family at an early age after World War II.

Rose became an Olympian for the first time at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. He won the 400m and 1500m freestyle and was a member of the gold medal team in the 4x200m relay that immediately made him a national hero. He was the youngest Olympian to be awarded three gold medals in one Olympic Games. Afterwards, Rose moved to accept an athletic scholarship at the University of Southern California. At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Rose again won an Olympic gold medal. He also won a silver and a bronze bringing his haul to six medals. Rose continued to compete collegiately through his graduation from USC in 1962. He eventually set 15 world records.

On 6 January 1959, Rose appeared as a guest challenger on the TV panel show To Tell the Truth. Later he starred in the 1964 surf movie Ride the Wild Surf and in Ice Station Zebra in 1968. He also made periodic appearances in television and film including guest spots on Dr Kildare, The Patty Duke Show, Dream Rider, Time Capsule 1932 and Time Capsule 1938.

In 1994, Murray returned to Australia with his wife, Jodi, and their son, Trevor. Upon his return, he quickly became immersed once more in Australia’s beach culture, becoming an active member of North Bondi Surf Club and pursuing his passion for ocean swimming. He was also a highly respected and deeply committed Patron of Rainbow Club Australia for 10 years. Murray passed away in 2012 from acute leukaemia.


Murray Rose is the patron of the Australian charity 'The Rainbow Club' which teaches disabled children how to swim. After his passing, he became the namesake for the Murray Rose's Malabar Magic Ocean Swim, a charity swim organised by the Rainbow Club Australia in Sydney, Australia.

An avenue at the Sydney Olympic complex was named for him in 2000. He was one of the eight flag-bearers of the Olympic Flag at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Before his untimely death of leukemia in 2012, Rose wrote 'Life is Worth Swimming', a reflection on his life and career at the apex of competitive swimming published by Arbon Publishing in 2013.

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