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Congratulating our SA Commonwealth Games athletes

It was a privilege to represent SA Premier Steven Marshall at the Commonwealth Games team reception at the Adelaide Town Hall and then in Rundle Mall. 

It was wonderful to join with Lord Mayor Martin Haese to recognise all the athletes who did Australia proud at the Gold Coast Games in particular the SA athletes who performed so well. 

Here is a copy of my speech.

I would firstly like to acknowledge the Kaurna people of whose land we meet on today, I also pay my respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are present today.

I am extremely proud to be here to congratulate and thank our 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes on their outstanding performances and results.

We extend a warm welcome to the many medal winning athletes from interstate present today and recognise the tremendous investment family and support team members have made into every athletes career. Thank you all for your valuable and ongoing support.

I would also like to acknowledge the Australian Commonwealth Games Association on putting together a great team and Games experience for all athletes, coaches, and officials. Congratulations also to GOLDOC and the army of volunteers for your role in staging a world class Games.

At the conclusion of the Games, Australia was the dominant nation with an outstanding tally of 198 Medals: 80 Gold, 59 Silver and 59 Bronze.

Our South Australian athletes contributed to 38 medals in total, including 23 Gold which equates to almost 20% of Australia’s total medal tally.

Considering South Australian athletes made up only 13% of the Australian team selected for the Games, we have significantly over-achieved with results!

This highlights just how impressive our local athletes are, and shows the talent of our sports men and women, and the staff who support them throughout their sporting journey.

It is relevant to recognise the role that the South Australian Sports Institute plays in assisting our athletes reach the pinnacle of their sport. The work SASI does in the high performance space directly contributes to the outstanding outcomes we witnessed at the Games.

The Commonwealth Games saw several South Australian athletes attain multiple medals and broke Games and World Records. Kyle Chalmers, Stephanie Morton and Matthew Glaetzer all took home multiple Gold in impressive fashion.

And of course, we must make mention of the exceptional performance of our Adelaide based and prepared Gold Medal winning and World Records breaking Mens Pursuit team coached by Tim Decker.

It was an exciting moment to see this team cross the line in a time of three minutes and 49.804 seconds - the first time recorded below the three minute 50 mark in history.

The thrills continued with young gun Kurtis Marschall leaping to Gold in the pole vault and our Men’s Beach Volleyball teams extraordinary come from behind win on the sands of Coolangatta Beach.

We embraced the opportunity to celebrate inclusion of all of our competitors, with the Gold Coast hosting the largest integrated para-sport program in Commonwealth Games history.

Jesse Aungles blitzed the competition in the SM8 200m Individual Medley, securing yet another South Aussie Gold Medal.

The cycling pair of Brad Henderson and Thomas Clarke went back to back bronze in the Blind & Vision Impaired cycling, showing great potential for the future of their new partnership.

Regardless of the result, it is fair to say the true height of achievement was demonstrated through our athletes, coaches and officials integrity, fighting spirit, and camaraderie in and out of competition. All team members conducted themselves with grace and dignity, presenting as inspirational role models who made South Australia proud.

Jess Trengove fought like a champion to achieve her second Commonwealth Games Marathon podium finish in a field that suffered through the hot conditions on the Gold Coast. It truly was a performance full of grit and determination.

South Australia has always enjoyed a rich sporting culture and a proud history of excellence, and today we both congratulate and thank our Commonwealth Games athletes and officials for continuing that tradition.

Every single athlete completed a unique journey to achieve selection and take part in the Commonwealth Games, and it is through that dedication and commitment that they have earned their place in history as members of the 2018 Australian Commonwealth Games Team.

Well done to each and every one of our athletes, coaches and officials – it truly was an amazing Commonwealth Games and we are extremely grateful for all your hard work.

On behalf of South Australia, thank you to our Commonwealth Games team for inspiring us all. We are extremely proud of what you have achieved.

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