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Date of Birth
Special Projects Manager at Vision Australia
First Competed for Australia
Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008
Running from Cairns to Brisbane five times from 1989-1993, climbing Mount Everest, competing on 'Dancing with the Stars', owning a small confectionary business
Competing in Sydney 2000, competing in the 1500m final in Beijing 2008, finishing second overall in the Melbourne 10km
Gerrard Gosens has set his sights on a breakthrough gold medal at London 2012. Born with congenital blindness, Gerrard is well known among his friends as being inspirational and persistent at everything to which he sets his mind. He lives by the philosophy ‘success is a journey, not a destination’, but jokes he has hit many signposts while training for his chosen sport of athletics.
Gerrard represented Australia at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games in the vision-impaired team sport of goalball. He decided to return to his former sporting love of running and represented Australia at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games in the 5000m, 10,000m and marathon. Although he missed Athens 2004, Gerrard returned to the athletics team for the Beijing Games. He describes the Games as sensational in terms of his performance and crowd support, with running the 1500m final in front of 90 000 spectators one of his finest moments. However, his campaign took a tragic turn when he learnt his father-in-law had died in a glider accident days before the Games were due to begin. He dedicated his 1500m race to him and finished sixth – a result with which he is very happy.
Currently guided by Dennis Fitzgerald, Gerrard’s former guide was 1980 Olympic gold medallist Sebastian Coe. He still keeps in touch with Sebastian and views him as a role model in his own athletics career. Gerrard has a head for heights and distance, having four times co-piloted an ultra light motor glider around Queensland to raise funds for charity. He has also run over 2000km five times for charity, and is currently the Special Projects Manager for Vision Australia. In 2005, Gerrard attempted to climb Mount Everest when he became the first blind man to fall through an ice crevice. Not accustomed to guiding a blind man, the Sherpa neglected to point out the crevice which Gerrard plummeted through. Fortunately, he was attached to several other climbers and was pulled to safety. He will attempt to reach the Mount Everest’ summit in 2013.
Gerrard recently enjoyed a stint on popular television show Dancing with the Stars, where he successfully made it through to the semi-final. Once he winds down his career on the track, Gerrard plans to be a successful business owner who has gone back to Mount Everest and been successful in all areas of his life. He focuses his life on being a loyal husband and dad to his two kids and on living life to the fullest. He warmed up for London 2012 with a personal best time in the 1500m at the 2011 IPC World Championships.
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