Dunc Gray

Edgar Laurence Gray was born 17th July, 1906 in Goulburn New South Wales (N.S.W). “Dunc” as he became known introduction to cycling came when as a youth he would watch the scratch men at the Goulburn showgrounds, with his ambitions Gray commenced his competitive career in 1925 where he was a member of the Goulbourn Amateur Cycling Club. In 1926 Gray won his first open championship when he defeated G.E Parlour and Cecil Burness in the 5-mile amateur championship of New South Wales (N.S.W), following on later with a 3rd place in the Brisbane 10-mile amateur championship, always trying to be his best he sought advice with his riding position which big improvements in his riding style, with wins in the 1/2-mile.
In 1928 he became the Australian 1-mile champion in 1928 and followed this up in 1929, 1930 and 1931 therefore becoming the only rider to win this championship in succession four times. In the same year Gray tied with F. Wruck of Queensland, for second place in the 1000m unpaced time trial test race to be selected as a representative to compete at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam to be held that year, A bronze medal came Gray’s way which was the first ever medal in Australian cycling at any games by an Australian.
Gray also became the 5-mile champion in 1929, 1930 and 1931 and 1/2-mile champion in 1932. In the same year Gray was selected to compete at the Los Angeles Olympics, Gray won the 1000m time trial in 1min 13secs, he was the only cyclist in the Australian team of twelve and became Australia’s first ever gold medal winner in cycling.
Gray had also entered the sprint race but a week prior to racing these events Gray had been struck down with influenza and thought it was best to rest and concentrate for the time trial which proved wise to do.
Gray represented Australia at the 1934 British Empire Games at Manchester (UK) and won the 1000m time trial and was the flag-bearer for Australia at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and progressed as far as the quarter-finals with Toni Merkens of Germany taking the gold medal in the sprint.
By 1937 his list was impressive with One Olympic championship; 1 Empire Games championship; 1 New Zealand championship; 12 Australian championships; 16 New South Wales championships; 36 club championships; quarter-mile & standing-starts, Australian record for 1/2-mile, standing start, Australian record: 1000m standing start, Australian record: world amateur record for quarter mile & standing start, Gray was 31 years old.
Gray again competed at the 1938 British Empire Games where he won the 1000m sprint and by 1938 Gray had a total of 73 championships.
In March 1939 within three weeks he won 6 N.S.W championships  titles and 3 Australian titles, the N.S.W Amateur Titles: 1000m sprint championship, 1 mile championship and 10-miles championship followed with the Australian Amateur Titles of 1000m sprint championship, 1000m time-trial and 10-miles championship.
In his 14 years of competing Gray had a total of 80 championships, 18 of which were national titles.
Gray was a member of the staff of Messrs Bennett and Wood Company and in 1942 Gray retired from competitive cycling due to business pressure, with more than 89 championships to his name Gray still intended to ride each day for his health.
In his later years Gray supported the Olympic movement with successful bids for Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and was an ambassador to upcoming and inspiring cyclists.
All of Gray’s triumphs were on a “Speedwell” Cycle which he carried all over the world.
Dunc Gray died 30 August 1996 in Kiama (N.S.W) aged 90 years.
In 1999 the Dunc Gray Velodrome at Bass Hill was opened in Sydney’s western suburbs, it was built for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney in honor for Dunc Gray, the first Australian to win a cycling Gold Medal at the Olympic Games.
The Speedwell bike that Gray rode at the 1932 Winter Olympics is on view at the Dunc Gray velodrome.