Sport is about turning up and not giving up, and no one exemplifies this better than the Transplant Australia team who represented the nation at the 21st World Transplant Games in Málaga, Spain.
The kidney, liver, bone-marrow, heart and lung recipients, plus a living donor, competed against over 2,200 athletes from 60 member countries, and came 6th overall in the medal tally with an impressive haul of:
GOLD | 26
SILVER | 27
BRONZE | 18
Australia’s youngest athlete was 12; the oldest, 73. They came from all over the country to participate in the largest organ donation awareness event on the globe; the equivalent of the Olympics in the transplantation space.
GOLD – Monty Summers, 5km Race
GOLD – Linda Petrovski & Camilla Jenal, Paddle Tennis
GOLD – Glenda Rayment, Petanque
SILVER – Margaret Martin, Petanque
BRONZE – Heather Edgell, Petanque
GOLD – Bruce Giles, 5K TT Cycling
SILVER – Tamaryn Stevens, 5K TT Cycling
BRONZE – Suzanne Halbish, 5K TT Cycling
SILVER – John Purdy & John Dawson, Pétanque Doubles
SILVER – Glenda Rayment & Sandra de Lange, Pétanque Doubles
BRONZE – Margaret Martin & Esther Scott, , Pétanque Doubles
BRONZE – Kelly Ashley, Golf
BRONZE – Mario Carpasso, Darts Singles & Darts Triples
BRONZE – Alan McKaskill, Triple Darts
BRONZE – Michael Gohdes, Darts Triples
GOLD – Heather Edgell and Esther Scott, Tenpin Doubles
GOLD – Heather Edgell, Tenpin Singles
GOLD – Jennifer Hosking, Table Tennis
GOLD – Tamaryn Stevens, 30km Cycling Race
SILVER – Dave Howard & Steve Arthy, Kayak Shortcourse
SILVER – Bruce Giles, 30km Cycling Race
BRONZE – Matt Spencer, 30km Cycling Race
BRONZE – Matty Hempstalk & Stuart Mcleod, Kayak Shortcourse
GOLD – Michelle Daley, 50m Backstroke
GOLD – Mary Albrow, 50m Backstroke
GOLD – Mary Albrow, 100 Breaststroke
GOLD – Mary Albrow, 50m Freestyle
GOLD – Mary Albrow, 100m Freestyle
GOLD – Mary Albrow, 100m Breastroke
GOLD – Shaun Carter, 50m Freestyle Donor Race
GOLD – Kate Phillips, 200m Individual Medley
GOLD – Bob Kirkbride, 400m Freestyle
GOLD – Bob Kirkbride, 50m Backstroke
GOLD – Michael White, 200m Individual Medley
SILVER – Lisa Cuthbertson, 200m Freestyle
SILVER – Brad Stanley, Tennis Singles
SILVER – Bryan Rollins, 400m Freestyle
SILVER – Ethan Daws, 200m Freestyle
SILVER – Ethan Daws, 200m Individual Medley
SILVER – Michael White, 200m Freestyle
SILVER – Michael White, 400m Freestyle
SILVER – Michelle Daley, 50m Butterfly
SILVER – Michelle Daley, 50m Freestyle
SILVER – Lisa Cuthbertson, 100m Breaststroke
SILVER – Lisa Cuthbertson, 50m Freestyle
BRONZE – Michael White, 100m Breaststroke
BRONZE – Kate Phillips, 400m Freestyle
BRONZE – Robyn Kirkman, 50m Backstroke
GOLD & WR – Michelle Daley, 400m
GOLD – Monty Summers, 1500m
GOLD – Jennifer Hosking, Shot-Put
GOLD – Jennifer Hosking, 100m
GOLD – Chris Tew, Discus
GOLD – Matt Spencer, Ball Throw
SILVER – Jennifer Hosking, 3000m Racewalk
SILVER – Michelle Daley, 100m
SILVER – Monty Summers, 400m
SILVER – Shaun Carter, Long-jump
SILVER – Chris Tew, Shotput
SILVER – Camilla Jenal & Nancy Reynolds, Tennis Doubles
BRONZE – Brad Stanley, 100m
BRONZE – Esther Scott, 3000m Racewalk
GOLD – Jennifer Hosking, 200m
SILVER – Claudia Carter, 200m
SILVER – Josh Yates, 5000m Racewalk, Men
SILVER – Monty Summers, 800m
BRONZE – Dave Howard, 800m
BRONZE – Brad Stanley, 200m
BRONZE – Chris Tew, Javelin
BRONZE – Steve Arthy, Javelin
There were many special moments throughout the competition.
Josh Yates, a 28-year-old youth mentor from Western Australia, is a bone-marrow recipient who won a silver medal in the 5km Racewalk. The uplifting and positive member of the Australian team, who is vision impaired, let nothing stop him; he also came 5th in the world in the 1500m, and 7th in the 800m, running with a support runner.
Mary ‘Nan’ Albrow, a 72-year-old liver recipient from Dayboro, Queensland, won a staggering 5 gold medals in the pool. Mary had her transplant over 20 years ago, in 1995.
Victorian kidney recipient Tamaryn Stevens came back from a setback on day one of cycling, to win gold on day two in a gritty and brave performance. Her mother and living donor, Amy, and dad John shared the proud moment with their daughter.
Monty Summers, a bone marrow recipient from Queensland, broke a Transplant Games World Record in the 5km Race. Meanwhile, daylight was second to Sydney’s Michelle Daley, a liver recipient, in the 400m, where she also smashed the World Record in her gold-medal-winning run.
The two junior athletes to don the green and gold Claudia Carter and Brad Stanley both came away with their first World Transplant Games medals. Their proud families were cheering them on from the finish lines.
Every athlete who took part was celebrating their second chance by embracing adventure and living life to the fullest. From the pool to the track, to the court and on the field, they are all totally inspirational, and show others that amazing things are possible.
The athletes are alive today because a generous person and family in a hospital somewhere said ‘yes’ to organ and tissue donation.
Please join the Australian Organ Donor Register online today at donatelife.gov.au to let the world know that you too support organ and tissue donation.