QLD Olympians Rural and Remote Thank You Tour31 October 2004
The tour began at Century Mine and embraced Mt Isa to the Gulf of Carpentaria, across to Cairns and then down the east coast to Bundaberg. In all, the touring party visited 22 communities throughout 6 days of touring. The communities visited included Century Mine, Mt Isa, Burketown, Kurumba, Croydon, Georgetown, Cairns, Innisfail, Ingham, Townsville, Ayr, Bowen, Proserpine, Mackay, Moranbah, Capella, Carmila, St Lawrence, Marlborough, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg.
A total of thirteen 2004 Olympians participated in the tour including cycling gold medallist Sara Carrigan, four time Olympian and Athens silver medallist Clint Robinson, softball silver medallists Sandra Allen, Marissa Carpadios, Natalie Hodgskin and Amanda Doman, mens waterpolo players Rafael Sterk, Toby Jenkins and Assistant Coach Benn Lees, coxswain of the bronze medal rowing eight Michael Toon, swimming silver medallist Nic Sprenger, diving bronze medallist Steve Barnett, swimmer Linda Mackenzie and basketball silver medallist Natalie Porter.
The Olympians visited schools, held sports clinics, attended community functions and civic receptions hosted by Shire and City Councils. The reception the Olympians received from all areas of the state was overwhelming. The school children were wonderfully prepared with welcome posters, personalised autograph books, banners and an array of interesting questions.
The tour was a fantastic success, with vast media coverage from all over the State and achieved wonderful feedback from all areas visited. Rural and remote Queensland should be congratulated for their outstanding organisation when hosting the Olympians and making the tour so enjoyable and worthwhile.