Statement On The Passing Of John Landy AC CVO MBE

25 February 2022

There's a statue at Olympic Park dedicated to the spirit of sportsmanship.

And it's cast in the figure of a Victorian who embodies that spirit more than any other – John Landy.

John lived a life like no one else ever could – a governor, an Olympian, a record breaker, and an athlete beyond compare.

During his time as Governor, he always worked to ensure that those in power never lost sight of the Victorians they served.

He held Government to account at every step, and his service helped make Victoria a fairer and stronger state.

John was a man of many pursuits, but Victorians will remember him most proudly as the phenomenal athlete that he was.

He was the first Aussie to ever break a four-minute mile, a world record holder for the 1500-metre, and the mile race too.

But he's best known for the race that he stopped running.

In 1956, at the Australian National Championships in Melbourne he stopped mid-race to check on Ron Clarke who had fallen and become injured.

It was an act of mateship that stunned the world – an act that showed what a compassionate and principled man John was.

And despite stopping, he went on to win the race anyway.

He was a Legend of Australian Sport, and for decades his work and legacy helped inspire thousands of young athletes across the state and country.

His service to our community is significant, and his contribution to sport and athletics is something every Victorian can be grateful for.

John lived his values – a man of integrity – unwavering in his commitment to building up the best of our community.

Our thoughts are with his wife Lynne, who he loved for over half a century – his children Matthew and Alison, and his grandchildren and extended family too.

He will be farewelled in a private service in the coming weeks, and his family have accepted a State Memorial Service where Victorians can pay tribute to his legacy and contribution to our state and community. Further details will be available in the coming weeks.

Reviewed 25 February 2022

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