It was Australia’s finest female athletes who led the Gold rush in London, while Stephanie Rice won a heart.
They formed an unbreakable bond when they beat the odds to grab Silver on the same day in Beijing four years ago. And now, on one unforgettable day in London four years later, hurdler Sally Pearson and cyclist Anna Meares rose to the very pinnacle of their sports when they became our remarkable golden girls.
For Sally and Anna, the euphoria of their dual Olympic triumphs was made all the greater because they shared it together. "For me and Anna, it’s just fantastic," says Sally, who describes the 28-year-old cyclist as a "true inspiration".
"Everyone should look up to her [Anna] as I do...I feel so proud to be Australian right now." Sally, 25, who won Gold in the 100m Hurdles just hours after her friend claimed Gold in the Women’s Sprint final, says the victory is simply a “dream come true".
The admiration is clearly mutual. Anna reveals that she is in awe of Sally’s focus and determination to be the best she possibly can be in her chosen sport.
The ecstatic pair ran into each other’s arms to share a huge hug and lots of laughter as they soaked up the emotion-charged atmosphere following their life-changing victories. Certainly, on their roller-coaster rides to Olympic Gold, Sally and Anna learned to take nothing for granted.
Four years ago in Los Angeles, Anna came perilously close to losing her life when she broke her neck in a horrific cycling accident at the World Cup. But nothing was going to prevent Anna – who began cycling competitively at age 11 and first won Gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics – from returning to the sport she loved.
Just months later, the cycling powerhouse had qualified for the Beijing Olympics.
“I knew what it felt like to represent Australia. I knew what it felt like to win a gold medal. I wanted that again,” Anna has previously told Channel 7.
Read more from our golden girls in this week's in this week's Woman’s Day on sale Monday August 13, 2012.
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