A four-time gold medalist subdued and helped capture a teenage intruder at her home in Australia. It's a pretty impressive story before you consider that the would-be victim won the first of those gold medals in 1956.
Dawn Fraser, who won eight Olympic medals for Australia from 1956 through 1964, was at home in Australia when a man grabbed her by the front gate. Bad idea.
"This guy came out of the gate and grabbed me and I grabbed him by the ear and I kicked him in the groin.
So he had to let me go. He threatened my life and I got really annoyed about that and just grabbed him by the ear and the hair."
Grabbing an ear and kicking a groin? That sounds like a scene from a Three Stooges movie. It's bad enough to be a burglar. It's bad enough to be a bad burgler. But to be a bad burglar that gets caught after being kicked in the groin by a 71-year old? Ouch, on multiple levels.
Fraser's attitude doesn't seem to have changed from her swimming days. She was always considered cocky (especially when she broke the Australian record in the 100m freestyle and told reporters that she wasn't impressed with her time) and once smacked a teammate with a pillow during an argument at a team meeting.
While Fraser said she was "annoyed" with the intruder, she couldn't be too angry, since she has dabbled in some intruding herself. At the 1964 Tokyo Games, Fraser went on a middle-of-the-night raid to steal a flag from the entrance to the Emperor's palace. She was caught and arrested, but was released soon after and given the flag anyway.
Thanks to David Wallechinsky's The Complete Book of the Olympics for research assistance.
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- Dawn Fraser