Yvette won the long jump gold medal at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, with a dramatic final jump.
In 1953 Yvette was awarded a MBE and in 1954 at the British Empire Games won three gold medals in the long jump, shot put and discus. Another of her great achievements in 1954 was a world record leap of 6.29m at Gisborne. Yvette went on to win twenty one national titles spread over five disciplines.
Yvette retired before the 1956 summer Olympics in Melbourne. She remained involved in sport, helping form the Pakuranga Athletic Club in 1967. Yvette was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and in 2000 was voted Otago Sportsperson of the Century.