The Gold Coast saved its best for last as the 2018 Commonwealth Games came to a captivating end with the staging of the marathon on the final day of competition.
Under perfect autumn Sunday skies, the marathon attracted 30 thousand spectators keen to watch for the first time the men’s, women’s and para races all competing inside a three-hour block.
It was double Team Griffith gold as current Business student Madison de Rosario was first home in the women’s T54 event while GBS alumnus Michael Shelley executed a perfect strategic plan in sapping conditions to make it back-to-back marathon golds at the Games.
The 42 kilometre course showed off the city to a worldwide audience and Griffith, proud presenting partner of the Marathon, was front and centre at the business end of the race with its distinctive red livery adorning the finisher’s gantry.
Those looking heavenwards would also have seen our Be Remarkable banner perched in the sky alerting all to Griffith’s undeniable presence before Griffith Chancellor Henry Smerdon AM DUniv had the honor of presenting the medals to the winners of the women’s race.
The marathon capped off a four-year official partnership between the University and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games which unlocked a wealth of remarkable opportunities for our students, staff and graduates.
Up to 240 students completed internships with GOLDOC while 61 of them gained full-time employment with Games organisers while more than 300 students worked in other Games-related activities.
Griffith’s facilities played a major role in helping overseas nations set up training camps with major teams like England and Canada using our swimming and aquatic facilities at the Gold Coast campus. Our new Business building on the Gold Coast campus (G42) also served as the team headquarters for Commonwealth Games Australia.
Creatively, we played a major part with students and staff from the Queensland Conservatorium, Queensland College of Art (QCA) involved in bringing to life key aspects of the event including the Queen’s Baton Relay, the opening and closing ceremonies and Festival 2018.
The Griffith community too was out in force over the eleven days of competition with nearly 200 staff working on our showcases at the Aquatic Centre, Broadbeach and the Marathon while more than 200 staff, students and alumni contributed as GC2018 volunteers or ‘Games Shapers’.
Team Griffith itself finished the competition with its best ever medal haul at a Commonwealth Games. The final tally read 23 gold, 7 silver and ten bronze.