Exciting new role for CQ cycling’s golden girl
CENTRAL Queensland’s golden girl Anna Meares has been named as a member of the Australian Team Executive for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The 36-year-old said she was excited to bring an “athlete’s perspective” to the role.
Blackwater-born Meares is recognised as one of the most successful Australian athletes in any sport.
During her illustrious career, she won eight Commonwealth Games medals (five of them gold), 11 world titles and two Olympic gold medals.
She was the Australian team captain and flagbearer at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and ended her career as flagbearer of the Australian Olympic team in Rio in 2016.
Meares joins fellow Olympic gold medallist and Chef de Mission Petria Thomas, and fellow Commonwealth Games gold medallists Sharelle McMahon and Kurt Fearnley in leadership positions on the Australian team for the 2022 Games in Birmingham.
The appointment means she will be involved in six Games, having been a competitor at four and an ambassador at the 2018 edition on the Gold Coast.
“When Petria extended the invitation, it was really exciting,” Meares said.
“It’s a very special part of my career and now I can give back to the team that gave me so much.
“To see something I’ve been involved with for a really long time from a different perspective and be involved in making it happen from behind the scenes is something I’m really interested in.
“I’ll bring an athlete’s perspective which I’ll be able to offer the team collectively, so there will be empathy for the athletes and for the staff.
“I know that the athletes get the medals but it takes a big team behind the athletes to get the athletes there as less stressed as possible. So as a general manager that is going to be my key role in Birmingham.”
Thomas said having Meares on the team would be a huge boost for Australia’s athletes in Birmingham.
“Anna always had an uncompromising approach… which undoubtedly was one of her trademarks and also the reasons for her success over nearly 15 years at the very top of her sport,” Thomas said.
“We look forward to Anna bringing that mindset to the team in a management role. She also overcame significant setbacks during her career on the bike, so she understands that not everything goes your way.
“All of her experience will help in creating a team environment in Birmingham that allows every team member to do their best work and have a positive and memorable experience.”