Britain’s Olympic Greats – Mary Peters

Labour Party

Welcome to the next instalment of British women Olympic champions. Dame Mary Peters was born in Lancashire but moved to Northern Ireland at a very young age, the place that she was to become most associated with.

Mary represented Northern Ireland at every Commonwealth Games between 1958 and 1974, where she won 2 gold medals for the pentathlon, plus a gold and silver medal for the shot put.  But it was representing Great Britain in Munich 1972 that she brought home gold.

It was even suggested that at the time that, with the troubles at their worst, Mary Peters’ unexpected 1972 Olympic pentathlon victory brought a temporary calmness to Northern Ireland with rival factions celebrating together the Province’s greatest ever sporting success.

Mary was appointed CBE in 1990, having been appointed MBE in 1972 and in 2000 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  She has also been honoured in Northern Ireland, where the premier athletics track, on the outskirts of Belfast, is called the Mary Peters Track. In April 2009, it was announced that she will become the next Lord Lieutenant of the City of Belfast.