Golden Moments - Yvette Williams' trailblazing feats more than 60 years ago still make her one of New Zealand's most cherished and inspiring athletes.
She was our first female Olympic Gold medallist, winning a place in the hearts of New Zealanders and our history books back in 1952 at the Helsinki Games.
Without the benefits of sport science and little support, Williams' regime included lifting concrete blocks and sand bags, running with army boots on her feet, and training in the soft dunes of West Coast beaches.
It was her dramatic long jump that saw her become our first golden girl.
After leading the qualifying round, Williams began the final round with two no-jumps. Down to her last chance, she leapt 5.90m to make the top six and earn three more jumps.
Yvette Williams describes her winning jump at Helsinki, along with the nerve-wracking 'no-jumps' that preceded it:
Williams' fourth jump was perfect. At 6.24m, it was just 1cm short of the world record held by legendary Francine ('Fanny') Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands. Williams had set a new Olympic record and won gold for New Zealand.
Williams took a month-long holiday in Europe before returning to New Zealand where she was welcomed back a national hero.
She was fêted at public receptions in Auckland, Dunedin and throughout the South Island. It would be 40 years before New Zealand would celebrate another female Olympic gold medallist - windsurfer Barbara Kendall at the 1992 Barcelona games.
It was not only in the long-jump she excelled. Williams also won four Empire Games gold medals in long jump, discuss, and shot-put.
She also broke a long-jump world record back in 1954 and held 21 separate national titles in athletics. She was an exceptional all-round athlete. She also played basketball for New Zealand.
While Williams retired before the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games she remained involved in sport and worked for many years as a physical education teacher. She was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
At a time when women were expected to keep house, Williams was a trailblazer for generations of women who followed. Yvette Williams had four children with late husband Buddy Corlett. The 87 year-old lives in Auckland.