Gallagher joins Comm Games cycling gold rush
GEELONG has added another name to Australia’s Commonwealth Games cohort heading to the English city of Birmingham next month, this time in cycling.
At age 36, Jessica Gallagher, will make her second Commonwealth Games appearance in the women’s para-track tandem event, adding another chapter to her illustrious and decorated career and joining a fiery squad of 34 cyclists.
“It’s incredibly exciting. When I made the decision to return to cycling it was for the opportunity to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games,” Gallagher said.
Legally blind as a result of Best’s disease, a rare condition, Gallagher’s sight has deteriorated since her teenage years, which brought about a premature ending to her netball career.
This didn’t stop Gallagher from motivating herself to compete, discovering para-sport and going on to represent Australia in alpine skiing at the 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games earning bronze medal wins at both events.
She also would represent her country at the 2012 London Paralympics in athletics before finding her love of para-cycling, which earned her a bronze medal win in Rio 2016.
Gallagher was the first Australian athlete to win medals at both a summer and winter paralympics.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate to find a wonderful tandem pilot, Caitlin Ward and be able to return to an environment with our coaching and support staff that has been so supportive,” Gallagher said.
“Being selected to represent Australia, like any athlete is a pinnacle of your career. It’s a reflection of the hard work and dedication to showcase what can be achieved.”
Gallagher competed in the women’s Tandem 1000m Time Trial and Tandem Sprint events at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games earning silver medals in both, but this year she’s now looking to be bold in gold in Birmingham.
The track and para-track cycling events will take place at Lee Valley Velopark in London from July 29 through to August 1.