Australia’s most decorated Olympian, Emma McKeon, has been crowned the 2021 Gold Coast Sports Star of the Year.
The local swimming superstar edged out Jean Van der Westhuyzen (canoeing), Tom Green (canoeing), Mat Belcher (sailing), Keegan Palmer (skateboarding), Logan Martin (BMX freestyle), Chelsea Hodges (swimming), Ali Day ( surf rescue) and Shane van Gisbergen (motorsport) to win the prestigious accolade at the Gold Coast Sports Star Awards at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on Friday evening.
The 28-year-old four-time world record holder won the award, presented by Bond Univerisyt, after becoming the first Australian to win four gold medals in a single Summer Olympics at the delayed edition of Tokyo 2020 last year. This effort took the freestyle and butterfly specialist to a total of 11 Olympic medals, making her Australia’s all-time queen of Olympic bling.
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Emma couldn’t be at the reception but sent a heartfelt acceptance video from her Birmingham 2022 training camp in Spain.
“I have had access to some great facilities on the Gold Coast such as the Gold Coast Aquatic Center for the past five years and there is no doubt that they have contributed immensely to the success I have had at the internationally during this time,” she said. said.
“I am very grateful for all the support the Gold Coast has given me,” she said.
Logan Martin, BMX gold medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Sports Star nominee, did not return home empty-handed after a ‘captain’s pick’ from Mayor Tom Tate saw him win the Mayor of the City of Gold Coast 2021.
In presenting the trophy, Mayor Tate paid tribute to true community sport at the grassroots level.
“It’s about local clubs, mom and dad coaches, sausage sizzles, team comebacks, fundraising nights and raffles.
“No sport is greater than its amateur ranks, and our city has a great history of activating its residents through sport.
“That’s sport and let’s never forget that,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Her Medical 2021 Para-Sport Star of the Year award went to canoeing sensation Curtis McGrath, who won the accolade an unprecedented five times in a row,
The Hot Tomato People’s Choice Grassroots Team Award 2021 was won by the Gold Coast Force Futsal men’s team who won the Football Queensland F-League 2021 league and finals – the highest level of futsal run by Football Queensland .
Braigh Agnew, a selfless member of the Broadbeach Cats AFL Club and alumnus of Miami High, has won the 2021 Eximm Junior Sports Volunteer Award for his tireless deeds in officiating and assisting in the coordination of the Rugby 7s Schools Carnival of Last year.
The Gold Coast Bulletin Junior Sports Star Award 2021 has been won by one of Australia’s future swimming superstars, Flynn Southam.
Tributes of the night were also paid to three Gold Coast sporting legends who had recently passed away in pioneering sports administrators Daphne Pirie and Alan ‘Doc’ Mackenzie and Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds.
It was a three-way tie for the 2021 Daphne Pirie MBE AO Spirit of Sport Medal after judges were unable to split a trio of outstanding nominees.
The medal is presented to local sports administrators in Daphne’s honor, with the winners characterizing her life of hard work, fair play and love of sport.
Dynamic husband and wife Barry and Colleen Gilbert have been recognized individually and collectively for their efforts in transforming the Broadbeach Bowls Club from a debt-ridden club on the verge of being taken over in 2008 into the renowned establishment that it is today, attracting bowlers from around the world. world.
The third deserved winner of the Pirie Medal was football mum, longtime Musgrave Hill FC chairman Michelle Schultz, who is credited with the dramatic turnaround of the football club that today leads in diversity and inclusion on and off the pitch.
A tribute was also paid overnight to the Gold Coast’s Magic Millions Thoroughbred sales and races, which have become solid mainstays of the city’s major events calendar since their founding in 1986.
Sports Gold Coast Chairman Geoff Smith said the awards are unique in that they not only celebrate the achievements of our elite athletes, but also sport at all levels.
“The event is also iconic in that it was established in 1968 and is based on the collaboration of all the main players in sport in our city, namely our council, universities, schools, clubs and associations of businesses and sports,” Smith said.
Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame President Trina Hockley AM said the awards have a rich history and form a vital foundation in promoting and developing the Gold Coast as a world-class destination with a sporting culture of world renowned and dynamic.
“The 2021 athletes join an exemplary group of Gold Coast sports stars who have already taken their place of honor in the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame,” she said.