Two years ago today, Olympian and three-time Commonwealth Games competitor Ron Clarke, passed away. One of Clarke’s legacies will be the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. He had been instrumental in the bid committee which in 2011 won the right to host the Commonwealth Games. At the time, he was also the mayor of the Gold Coast.
He is remembered daily by those organising the 2018 Commonwealth Games – staff, volunteers and visitors, walk along a track, bordered by images of Clarke’s running career, to enter two buildings named in his honour.
During a long and successful life and career, he achieved so much.
As a teenager, he famously lit the flame at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. During the ‘60s he was the most dominate distance runner in the world, setting 17 world records and winning medals at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
While living on the Gold Coast, he was involved in the development of the Couran Cove eco-tourist resort on South Stradbroke Island, developed Runaway Bay Super Sports Centre concept, was Mayor of the Gold Coast for eight years and of course was involved in the bid for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
In 1966, mid-way through his running career, he was awarded a MBE for services to athletics; then in 2013, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) “For distinguished service to the community through a range of leadership roles with local government and philanthropic organisations, and to the promotion of athletics.”