Sally Pearson appointed first official Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Ambassador


Australian track queen Sally Pearson OAM was announced today as the first official ambassador of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) at a public function on the Gold Coast beachfront.


The popular announcement was made by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP beside the GC2018 Surfers Paradise Countdown Clock at a presentation hosted by Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimming champion Brooke Hanson OAM.


One of Australia’s greatest sports stars (biography following), Gold Coast resident Pearson is best known for her stunning achievements as a world, Olympic and dual Commonwealth Games hurdles gold medallist. She has had a close association with GC2018 since development of the successful bid in 2011 and played a starring role in the flag handover during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony. Pearson is the first 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. As the first GC2018 Ambassador, Pearson was presented with a commemorative surfboard – an iconic keepsake of the Gold Coast lifestyle.


Also in attendance today were Commonwealth Games Minister Sterling Hinchliffe MP, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GOLDOC) Chairman Peter Beattie AC and CEO Mark Peters, City of Gold Coast Acting Mayor Donna Gates and a large contingent of excited junior athletes.


Sally Pearson OAM:

“I’m thrilled to have officially joined the Gold Coast 2018 family to help get people all over the world as excited as I am about this magnificent event.


“The Commonwealth Games is an amazing experience for athletes and spectators, and in 2018 it will be the Gold Coast, my home town, showcased to the world.


“The 2018 Games will inspire a new generation of young athletes and provide the perfect opportunity for the next wave of stars to shine.


“Winning Olympic gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games was a special moment, missing Rio (2016 Olympic Games) is definitely one of those low points, but I’m focused on giving myself the best opportunity to compete at a home Games.


“As an official ambassador I now have added personal interest in helping to ensure GC2018 is the massive success I already know it will be and the most memorable athlete, spectator and volunteer experience possible.”


Premier of Queensland the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP:

“The appointment of Sally Pearson as the first official Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games ambassador is an inspired choice.


“Sally is a shining light of athletics in this country and her well-documented achievements on the track are matched only by the personal initiative she has taken in recent years to be an exceptional mentor of young talent.


“As 2014's Most Inspirational Australian Athlete and Australian Athletics Team Captain, Sally has pedigree in leadership and it is for precisely those qualities that I know she will perform outstandingly as an ambassador of Queensland, the 2018 Games and everything they represent.”


Minister for the Commonwealth Games the Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe MP:

“Today’s announcement – just 631 days from the Games’ opening ceremony – is another major milestone for Gold Coast 2018 and we not only look forward to having Sally with us over the coming 20 months, but also seeing her defend her Commonwealth 100m hurdles title in her own backyard.


“Sally is a champion athlete and I know every Australian will be cheering her on to victory in 2018.


“It is wonderful Sally has agreed to be the very first Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games official ambassador; a role where her heartfelt passion for sport and the Gold Coast will be recognised across the 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth and beyond.”


City of Gold Coast Acting Mayor Donna Gates: “Sally’s appointment is in line with our determination to make these Games very Gold Coast focused. “She is a world-class athlete, a great personality in the city and a fierce competitor who carries our city’s brand on her shoulders as she competes around the world. “I warmly welcome her as the first GC2018 ambassador.’’

GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC:

“It is indeed a privilege to have a home-grown Commonwealth, Olympic and world champion as our first official ambassador.


“Sally’s role, and the role of the ambassadors to come, will be to tell the world about our Games – to enthuse them to come to this beautiful and energetic place to experience for themselves the magnificent festival of sport, culture and friendship that only a Commonwealth Games can deliver.


“Sally is an incredible talent, a delightful young lady, a role model to young athletes and the perfect first ambassador of our Games.


David Grevemberg CBE, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation 

"As an athlete-centred movement, we’re thrilled that a diverse and inspiring group of athlete ambassadors will help tell the story of Gold Coast 2018.


“Like all Commonwealth athletes, Sally Pearson upholds and cherishes the principle of the level playing field, connecting people across the world through a shared passion for sport and opportunities for all.


“Through her own impactful journey to the Games, she will inspire citizens and communities to make the most of Australia’s largest sporting event this decade."


GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters:

“Sally has been a vital and very welcome member of the GC2018 family since the earliest days of the successful 2011 bid, and it is wonderful that she will be with us for the remainder of our exciting journey.


“She is a quintessential Gold Coaster, a champion on the world stage and an ideal role model for a Commonwealth Games that will inspire young people the world over to become more active in sport and physical fitness as one of its great legacies.


“Sally’s story is only half written; her recent battles with injury will be overcome with her customary courage and plenty of hard work and we are with her every step of the way.” 


Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Craig Phillips:

Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Craig Phillips said he was delighted with Pearson’s appointment as the first official ambassador for the Gold Coast games.  “Sally is a most fitting ambassador for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. “She is a Gold Coast local and will be aiming to represent the nation at her fourth Commonwealth Games, which would be an outstanding achievement. “Since her first appearance with us at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2004, Sally has represented Australia with great distinction all over the world, and I have no doubt she will be a wonderful ambassador for Gold Coast 2018.


Sally’s Biography

Date of Birth – 19 September 1986 Age: 29 Hometown: Gold Coast, Queensland Sport: Athletics (100m hurdles) Coach: Ashley Mahoney


Recognition and awards

  • 2014 - Glasgow Commonwealth Games Gold – 100m hurdles
  • 2012 – London 2012 Olympic Games Gold – 100m hurdles
  • 2011 – Daegu World Championships Gold – 100m hurdles
  • 2010 – Delhi Commonwealth Games Gold – 100m hurdles
  • 2006 – Melbourne Commonwealth Games Bronze – 4x100m relay
  • 2003 – Sherbrooke World Youth Championships Gold – 100m hurdles


Personal Bests

2011 - 100mH: 12.28 (+1.1) – Daegu 2007 - 100m: 11.14 (+1.7) – Osaka 2009 - 200m: 23.02 (-0.4) – Gold Coast


Fast facts:

  • 2011 – Named International Association of Athletics Federation’s Female Athlete of the Year
  • 2010 - Married Kieran Pearson in April
  • Supported Charities – Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation and Animal Welfare League QLD


Backgrounder - GC2018 Ambassador Program

Over the coming 20 months, ambassadors will be drawn from a range of fields to share their knowledge of the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and GC2018 with the world.


They will be integral the successful delivery of the biggest event in Australia in a decade.


The GC2018 Ambassador Program ultimately helps GOLDOC achieve its vision of staging a great Games in a great city leaving great memories and great benefits for all.


It also aims to specifically address one of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation’s key objectives – to engage and harness the enthusiasm of our communities.


The ambassadors will promote GC2018 as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a world-class celebration of sport, art and culture and encourage wide participation in GC2018 programs and initiatives.


Their involvements will also help build an international media profile for GC2018 and interest in GC2018 milestone initiatives such as ticketing, merchandise, volunteering and the Queen’s Baton Relay.


Together they will help us Share the Dream of GC2018 with the world.


Commonwealth Games Ambassadors

Commonwealth Games traditionally utilise a number of official ambassadors to spread the word of The Friendly Games. A number of high profile GC2018 ambassadors will be announced over coming months.


Eight high profile Scottish sports people and entertainment identities were the ‘faces’ of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.


They were:

Jessica Ennis-Hill (track & field) Nicola Adams (boxer) Michael Jamieson (swimmer) Allan Wells (track & field) Sir Chris Hoy (cyclist) Rebecca Adlington (swimmer) Billy Connolly (comedian) Martin Compston (actor/comedian).

Additional information