A new foot bridge connecting AAMI park and the MCG will be named after Australia’s first Olympian, “The Lion of Athens” Edwin Flack. The Edwin Flack Bridge is expected to be completed by the end of the year as part of the Melbourne Olympic Park’s $363 million redevelopment, the Australian Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty announced on June 25.
Flack represented Australia in the 1896 Olympics in Athens, the first Modern Olympics of its time. He won gold for the 1500m and 800m sprints and then another bronze medal in the tennis doubles.
“Edwin Flack set the scene for our Olympians,” Hugh Delahunty said. “You couldn’t get a better example and better inspiration to our up and coming athletes.”
The bridge is expected to provide a faster and safer route over Olympic Boulevard between stadiums. The walkway will also feature the original Olympic rings used during the 1956 Melbourne games.
When Flack competed in the first Olympics, Australia had no national Olympic committee at the time. It was Flack’s private decision to go to Athens and represent Australia. The country was still governed by each State and had not been unified yet. “The Greeks recognised his incredible spirit and he became the star of the Games earning the nickname ‘The Lion of Athens’,” the Australian Minister noted.
Flack later joined the Australian Olympic Committee, but never competed in another Olympics.