The Australian rowing legend joins a legion of sporting greats emanating from the Gold Coast who have received the prestigious award including Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew, Nathan Sharpe, Robbie McEwen and Trevor Hendy.
“It is a great honour to be recognised alongside such notable and great names in sport,” Duncan Free said.
“To be mentioned in the same conversation as someone like Grant Davies is something I value personally. His sportsmanship at the Seoul Olympics is memorable and a lesson to us all.”
Grant Davies displayed grace and integrity in 1988 after he discovered the gold medal he thought he had won was not to be and he would have to settle for silver.
He was inducted into the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame in 1999, the same year the Hall of Fame accolade was opened to recognise Gold Coast sports star who reached the pinnacle of their sport.
The 2017 award ceremony at QT Gold Coast acknowledged Duncan Free as a true champion and described him as one of the greatest oarsmen in Australian rowing history.
“Free wasn’t just the best, winning world championships and Olympic gold; it was his ability to stay at the top, or to climb back to the pinnacle after adversity that stamped him as a unique athlete.”
A delighted Duncan Free was looking to the future shortly after receiving the award.
“The population of the Gold Coast continues to grow at a pace, and with this comes more and more high-ranking sports programs being based here on the Coast.
“Hopefully this will lead to many more high-quality elite athletes coming through on the Coast.
“In many ways the Hall of Fame is a sign of what’s possible here.”