A third ambassador has been named for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Australian cycling legend Anna Meares OAM named by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP at the official opening of the Anna Meares Velodrome, home to track cycling for GC2018 on Saturday.
Renowned as a fierce competitor on the track, Meares recently announced her retirement from the sport following her role as Australia’s flagbearer and team captain at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
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The Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist joins hurdles champion Sally Pearson OAM and swimming star Cameron McEvoy as a welcome member of the GC2018 Ambassador family.
Meares will assist the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) with promotion of the 4-15 April 2018 Games to Australia and the rest of the world.
To mark the occasion, she was presented with a commemorative surfboard – an iconic keepsake of the Gold Coast lifestyle.
Also in attendance today were Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe MP, GOLDOC Chairman, Peter Beattie AC, Ross Vasta MP, Member for Bonner and a large contingent of excited junior athletes.
Anna Meares OAM said “I’m excited to join the Gold Coast 2018 family and share the dream with Australia and the rest of the world.
“Sally Pearson and Cameron McEvoy are wonderful athletes and Ambassadors; and I’m pleased to stand with them to inspire passion and participation in these home Commonwealth Games.
“I’m excited to play a role beyond competing. I’ll be encouraging everyone to experience the greatness of these Games – this will be the largest sporting event in Australia this decade and the ticket pricing announced last week makes it affordable to see it live in person.”
Premier of Queensland the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP:
“It is fitting that our new world-class venue has been named after Anna Meares, a Queensland cycling champion. It gives me great pleasure to announce Anna will also be an ambassador for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, joining Sally Pearson and Cam McEvoy.
“Anna’s remarkable career includes both Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games medals, as well as multiple world and national championship titles.
“It is no doubt Anna’s legend will inspire our next generation of elite track cyclists, some of whom be will training and competing in this venue over the coming years. Queensland’s next great track cyclist may very well be present here today.”
Minister for the Commonwealth Games the Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe MP said “along with Sally Pearson and Cameron McEvoy we have a growing group of Ambassadors who can confidently take the Games to the world.
“Anna has been a champion for women’s sport and is respected internationally for her contribution to cycling on and off the track.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate added “Anna has reigned as the queen of track cycling, carrying Australia’s hopes at multiple world, Olympic and Commonwealth events. Her zest for life and ability to overcome adversity makes her a perfect choice as ambassador. Welcome Anna.”
GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC said “Anna resonates with Australians and has a strong global following; it’s only fitting she stands here in this amazing new facility as the third official GC2018 Ambassador.
“We are looking to promote the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games to the rest of Australia, so it’s exciting to have Anna with us to spread the GC2018 message.”
GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters said “it’s great to have Anna on this journey with us; her reputation and ability to connect with all of Australia and globally will be a real benefit promoting the Commonwealth Games.”
“The passion and sheer determination she showed when competing is a compelling quality. She will be a great ambassador for these Games and along with Sally Pearson and Cameron McEvoy will tell our story wonderfully.”
David Grevemberg CBE, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation added “Commonwealth athletes inspire us not only through their sporting successes and passions, but through their character – their integrity, their resilience and their ability to connect with communities, and especially young people, all over the Commonwealth.
“It’s fantastic and fitting to welcome Anna Meares as a GC2018 ambassador as the new velodrome in her name opens its doors and facilities to Queensland’s citizens and communities well ahead of the Games.”
Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Craig Phillips was there too and said “Anna is a cherished sporting icon in Australia and is a great fit alongside Sally Pearson and Cameron McEvoy.
“She experienced the thrill of winning gold at a home Commonwealth Games in 2006 and I believe she will be a great ambassador for the Gold Coast Games.”