Erica Burleigh (triathlon) will be Australia’s sole female para-triathlete in Birmingham, when she makes her debut at the Commonwealth Games alongside her guide Felicity Cradick. Erica has made the Australian Team for Birminhgam just four months after her first triathlon. A meningococcal B survivor, Erica was struck down by the disease when she was just 17-years-old leaving her legally blind. What she thought was just the flu sent her into a coma which her parents were told she may not survive. Burleigh finally decided to take the triathlon challenge in 2021. She caught the bug after her first race in January 2022 and a second placing in her first major event in Devonport a month later brought it home. She says she was driven by the feats of fellow Tasmanian and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Ariarne Titmus, who inspired her to add swimming to her cycling and running skills. The efforts of vision-impaired Paralympic gold medallist Katie Kelly were another inspiration for her. Erica is part of a national portrait series by renowned photographer Anne Geddes called ‘I Won’t Give Up’, highlighting the strength and resilience of seven Australians impacted by meningococcal disease.
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