On August 1, 1932, Dunc Gray was on top of the world.
Unquestionably the best cyclist ever to emerge from Goulburn, Gray took part in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles with high hopes.
It was his second Olympic campaign, and he was determined to claim gold in the 1,000 Metre Time Trial after a bronze medal effort in Amsterdam four years earlier.
It was a remarkable start to an elite career which almost didn't happen at all.
As a young man, Gray said in an ABC interview in 1996, he heard about the Olympics and "thought that would be a nice trip to go on".
"I told my mum that I was going to the Olympic Games and she said: "Man has as much chance of going to the moon as you have of going there".
"She was wrong on both counts, but my parents were thrilled when I was selected in 1928."
In the early 20th century, cycling was far from the internationally-recognised sport it is today. Funding was difficult to come by for Olympic athletes, and as a carpenter, Gray didn't have the income to pay for his trip to the Netherlands.
"They were trying to fund the team's expenses, but weren't doing too well," he said.
"They picked 20 athletes from all sports to go to Amsterdam. I was about 16th on the list as cycling wasn't popular in those days.
"As the Games approached, only five or six had funding, so the Australian Olympic Federation (as it was then called) said that if any club or sporting body could raise funds for an athlete, that person could go.
"The people of Goulburn raised my fare in three days and I was given a nice sendoff in the Town Hall. They also gave me a wallet full of notes, so I was a very popular bloke in the team."
A third-place finish in Amsterdam, behind Denmark's Willy Hansen in first and the Netherlands' Gerard Bosch van Drakestein in second, was a fitting reward for Gray's efforts.
But the then-22-year-old was not satisfied. And four years' later, in 1932, not even the Great Depression could stifle his passion.
Laid off from his carpentry job, Gray worked as a salesman to make ends meet.
How he earned the money to go to Los Angeles that year is not clear - perhaps the Australian Olympic Federation had an easier time raising funds after his 1928 success - but Gray made it to the US.
His time in Amsterdam had been 1:15.3, behind Hansen's 1:14.2.
In 1932, Gray blazed from the outset and set a new Olympic record of 1:13.0, more than a full second better than the winning time four years earlier.
"Grey [whose name was often misspelt by papers at the time] deserves every credit," the Morning Bulletin, based out of Queensland, said of his victory at the time.
"He had all the worst of it in his early training and influenza also hampered him."
Gray's victory, though lightning-fast, was still narrow. He was closely trailed by the Netherlands' Jacques van Egmond (1:13.3) and France's Charles Rampelberg (1:13.4).
It marked a turning point in his personal life as well.
"I was out of work when I went to Los Angeles, but two cycle manufacturers wanted me when I got back," Gray said.
During his career, Gray dominated Australian cycling in a fashion rarely seen since. His Olympic medals were Australia's first for cycling, and he claimed two further golds at the 1934 and 1938 British Empire Games (now known as the Commonwealth Games). Gray also claimed 20 Australian cycling titles in a 13-year span between 1928 and 1941.
Gray's decorated cycling career - which resulted in a Sydney velodrome named in his honour and inductions into the Sports Australia and Cycling Australia Halls of Fame - marked him as one of the greatest sprinters in the nation's history.
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