Bruce Sharp – 1931-2023
Gymnastics NSW mourns the loss of NSW Life Member and Australia’s first Olympic gymnast – Bruce Sharp.
Bruce was part of Australia’s inaugural Olympic Gymnastics Team- competing at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.
Growing up in the South Sydney Suburb of Bexley, Bruce Sharp would ride his push bike 14kms to the local pole depo to collect old pieces of metal. He would then ride back home and build his own metal high bar and parallel bars to train gymnastics in his backyard.
Without the connected world of the internet, access to routines was difficult and required creativity. The only routine requirements they had were written in their original French, so the team learnt their Olympic
routines from pictures, and eventually sheets they borrowed from another competing team.
When GNSW caught us with Bruce in 2020, he recalled the panic of changing routines after misinterpreting the slides- finishing in 57th position.
A talented photographer and artist, Bruce was one of the few people to capture the essence of the games at the time, including candid post swim photos from Australian Legend Dawn Fraser. His love of art continued, with Bruce gifting Gymnastics NSW with one of his pieces in 2019.
Gymnastics NSW passes on their deepest sympathies to Bruce’s family in this time.
A memorial celebrating Bruce's life will be held on Saturday 28 January 2023. Reach out to Gymnastics NSW for further details.