Australian wheelchair racing legend Kurt Fearnley OAM (NSW) has been revealed as the fourth official Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Ambassador on the Gold Coast today.
The announcement was made by Minister for the Commonwealth Games the Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe MP at a public event in the Southport Broadwater Parklands hosted by Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimming champion Brooke Hanson OAM.
The Paralympic and Commonwealth Games medallist joins hurdles champion Sally Pearson OAM, swimming star Cameron McEvoy and cycling queen Anna Meares OAM as a welcome member of the GC2018 Ambassador family.
“It’s incredible to share the GC2018 dream alongside fellow Ambassadors Sally Pearson, Cam McEvoy and Anna Meares," Fearnley said.
“It will be an historic Games, with the largest integrated para-sport program ever at a Commonwealth Games. It is a wonderful opportunity for para-athletes across the Commonwealth to compete at GC2018," Fearnley added.
At the Rio Paralympics, Fearnley won bronze in the T54 5000m before going on to win his 13th Paralympic medal with silver in the T54 marathon.
A number of excited junior athletes were there to see Fearnley as he was presented with a commemorative surfboard – an iconic keepsake of the Gold Coast lifestyle.
A five-time Paralympian, Fearnley serves as the perfect ambassador for the Games, aside from his athletic achievements, Fearnley is a passionate disability advocate and devotes himself to a number of national charitable initiatives. Winner of multiple marathons around the world, Fearnley has also crawled the Kokoda track and was a member of the crew of the 2011 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race line honours winner Investec Loyal.
“Kurt is an inspiration to all athletes around the world and is a great addition to the GC2018 family," GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie said.
“Kurt is the ideal ambassador to champion the largest ever intergraded para-sport program at a multi-sport event, something unique to the Commonwealth Games, which adds an exciting aspect to GC2018,” Beattie said.
The Gold Coast games are expected to be the final major championships Fearnley competes in, and on home soil, will serve as the perfect opportunity for Australians to cheer on of our greatest ever track and field para-athletes.
“Kurt has paved the way for a new generation of para-athletes and inspired Australia with his feats on and off the field of play," Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Craig Phillips said.
“It’s only fitting that Kurt takes on an official role with GC2018, his last major championships in the green and gold.”
This coming Sunday (20th of November) marks 500 days to go until the games begin on the 4th-15th April 2018.
Want to be a part of the Gold Coast 2018 yourself? If you have athletics expertise (as a former athlete, official, coach or administrator) we invite you to apply as a Sport Specific Volunteer at the games. CLICK HERE to submit an Expressions of Interest.