Athlete
Date Inducted: 11 Dec 1991
Sport: Speed Skating
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James Lynch - Speed Skating

Stepping onto the Bondi ice rink in 1960 at 12 years of age, Jim Lynch's brilliant skating career peaked with victory in the 1978 world short-track speed skating championship.

He is generally recognised as having put Australia on the international speed skating map. He travelled overseas often, usually by himself in the early days, and caused some surprises on circuits which had been generally unexplored by Australians.

He became the New South Wales champion in 1964, while still the Australian junior champion. From that year until 1979 he won every NSW title, and repeated the performance in 1984 and 1985. He was Australian champion in 1965, then from 1969 until 1976, and again in 1978.

In 1972 he represented Australia at the Sapporo Winter Olympics, competing in the 500m and the 1500m, finishing 41st and 49th respectively. That same year he established a British record over 400m and in 1974 he became the North American 400m champion and record holder. He was North American overall speed skating champion in 1975. He followed up his 1978 world short-track title with another world championship in 1979, over 500m.

Lynch continued to break records as a veteran. He was Australian veteran champion in 1985, 1986, 1989, and 1991 and while skating with the Australian team in 1985, he recorded a personal best of 46.25 second for 500m.

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.