Australian wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley OAM 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 on the Gold Coast.
The 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.
Aside from winning multiple marathons around the world, Fearnley has also crawled the Kokoda track and was a member of the crew of the 2012 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race line honours winner Investec Loyal.
The Paralympic and Commonwealth Games medallist joins hurdles champion Sally Pearson OAM, swimming star Cameron McEvoy and cycling queen Anna Meares as a welcome member of the GC2018 Ambassador family.
Fearnley is the fourth of a select group of high profile figures who 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, Fearnley was presented with a commemorative surfboard – an iconic keepsake of the Gold Coast lifestyle.
Fearnely said he was honoured to join 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,” he said.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for para-athletes across the Commonwealth to compete at GC2018,” Fearnley said.
Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips said that Fearnley made for an ideal ambassador for Gold Coast 2018.
“Kurt is a wonderful Australian athlete and role model,” he said.
“He has paved the way for a new generation of para-athletes and inspired Australia with his feats on and off the field of play.
“It’s only fitting that Kurt takes on an official role with GC2018, at what he has indicated will be his last major championships in the green and gold,” Phillips said.
GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC praised Fearnley as an inspiration to all athletes around the world.
“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,” Beattie said.