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Yvette Williams

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameYvette Winifred•Williams (-Corlett)
Used nameYvette•Williams
Born25 April 1929 in Caversham, Dunedin (NZL)
Died13 April 2019 in Auckland (NZL)
Measurements176 cm / 65 kg
NOC New Zealand


Yvette Williams was one of the greatest athletes produced by New Zealand and one of the most versatile. She won the long jump and was second in the javelin at the 1950 Empire Games in Auckland and two years later became the first female New Zealander to win an Olympic title when she won the long jump at the Games in Helsinki. She was also 10th in the discus and sixth in the shot put in Helsinki. At the 1954 British Empire Games in Vancouver, Williams won the shot put, discus and long jump, won a silver in the javelin throw, and was sixth in the 80 metres hurdles. Williams had also set a world record (6.28 metres) for the long jump earlier that year in Gisborne. Williams won 21 New Zealand Championships in various events - shot put (1947–54), javelin (1950), discus (1951–54), long jump (1948–54), and the 80 m hurdles (1954). She also played basketball and netball for New Zealand. In the centenary year of Athletics New Zealand in 1987, she was named “Athlete of the Century”. A brother, Roy, won the decathlon at the 1966 British Empire Games.

Personal Bests: LJ – 6.285 (1954); SP – 13.955 (1954); DT – 47.85 (1954).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1952 Summer Olympics Athletics NZL Yvette Williams
Long Jump, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
Shot Put, Women (Olympic) 6
Discus Throw, Women (Olympic) 10

Special Notes