Born Fremantle, W.A.
17 July, 1943
Trevor Bickle, the only Australian to win the Commonwealth Games pole vault gold medal twice, became a pole vaulter by accident.
This happened in 1959 when Melville club coach Jack Prost desperately required an athlete to contest the F-grade pole vault in a points competition at Leederville Oval. The "volunteer” he selected was Bickle, then 16, who won the event at the start of what was to prove an illustrious career as an international pole vaulter.
Bickle, who had already shown outstanding talent as a junior hurdler-long jumper and was an accomplished gymnast with the YMCA, proved a natural pole vaulter.
He was just 19 when he won his first Commonwealth Games gold medal at Perry Lakes Stadium in November 1962 with a clearance of 4.41m (14ft 9in).
Four years later Bickle retained his Commonwealth Games title at Kingston, Jamaica, with a vault of 4.80m (15ft 9in) – his best effort in competition.
Bickle added the Australian pole vault titles of 1963, 1966 and 1967 to his list of achievements, but he missed out on his quest for Olympic selection.
At the 1964 Olympic trials, Bickle, who had qualified for selection three times during the season, broke his pole and this cost him a place in the Australian team for the Tokyo Games.
It was a bitter blow for Bickle because he rates 1964 as his best year of vaulting. Australia was not represented in the pole vault at the Tokyo Games.
Bickle’s farewell to pole vault competition was on July 12, 1967, when he represented the British Commonwealth against the United States in Los Angeles.