Three-time Paralympic Gold Medallist Australian wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley OAM has been appointed as the fourth official Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Ambassador today. He’ll join Sally Pearson OAM, Cameron McEvoy & Anna Meares OAM who were appointed as the first three official Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Ambassador.
This was announced earlier today by Minister for the Commonwealth Games Stirling Hinchliffe MP at a public event in the Southport Broadwater Parklands. The event was hosted by Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimming champion Brooke Hanson OAM.
Fearnley, a five-time Paralympian, was born without the lower portion of his back, but has always been determined to achieve greatness, in and out of his racing wheelchair.
The Australian, who has won marathons all 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.
Fearnley will be a part of the promotional plans of Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) and will help the OC with promotion of the 4-15 April 2018 Games to Australia and the rest of the world.
At the event, Fearnley was presented with a commemorative surfboard – an iconic souvenir of the Gold Coast lifestyle. The event was attended by a large group of junior athletes.
Speaking about the honor of getting associated with GC2018, Kurt Fearnley OAM said, “It’s incredible to share the GC2018 dream alongside fellow Ambassadors Sally Pearson, Cam McEvoy and Anna Meares. 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.”
Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Stirling Hinchliffe MP, during the announcement said, “Kurt is not just a decorated athlete, he’s also well respected as one our country’s greatest ever sports people. I know all Australians are looking forward to cheering on Kurt as he powers across the finish line at the first ever Commonwealth Games wheelchair marathon event on the Gold Coast.”
Speaking about the kind of role model Fearnley is, GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC said, “Kurt is an inspiration to all athletes around the world and is a great addition to the GC2018 family. Alongside Sally, Cam, and Anna we have a strong team of ambassadors who are helping showcase Queensland and Australia to the rest of the world. Each ambassador will be a role model for young Australians and the young people of the Commonwealth. 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.”
Adding about the iconic athlete, GC2018 CEO Mark Peters said, “It’s only fitting that Kurt officially joins the GC2018 family. He has been a strong supporter of GC2018 for a number of years now and is the ideal person to help promote our event. With the largest integrated para-sport program at a Commonwealth Games it was important to have an ambassador that represented the para-athlete cohort and Kurt is the perfect fit.I’m sure everyone will be excited to see Kurt go around one more time at a major sporting event, especially being on Australian soil in front of his family and friends.”
Speaking about the announcement, David Grevemberg CBE, Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Games Federation said, “Athlete ambassadors play a critical role in inspiring and engaging all people of the Commonwealth to embrace the opportunities presented through the Games. Kurt is a truly outstanding Commonwealth athlete and a passionate member of the Commonwealth Games and para-sport movement – and we warmly welcome his appointment as an ambassador”