At 17 years old Sally Pearson wanted desperately to be Australia’s next track and field champion. She knew that it would take hard work, dedication and commitment that is beyond most teenagers’ comprehension. To Sally’s credit this did not daunt her. By 20 years old she had already made her mark by anchoring Australia’s 4 x 100m Relay Team at the World Championships. In the same year Sally was Australia’s champion at 100m sprints and was the Australian 100m hurdles champion. By 2011 Sally was crowned the 2011 World Champion, 2011 IAAF World’s Best Female Athlete of the Year (she was the first Australian ever to win this award) and in 2012 she became the Olympic Gold Medallist for the 100m hurdles. Sally had definitely achieved her aim.
Sally is a woman with exuberance and an exciting talent for running, she is a very polished professional in front of the media. Her piece to camera after falling in the final of the Commonwealth Games hurdles struck a chord with many Australians who shared her pain and were amazed at her strength. In 2008 at the Beijing Olympic Games Sally burst onto the World stage by winning the Silver Medal at her first Olympic Games. Sally’s lead up to the Games had been impressive and she had set her sights on making the final of the 100m Hurdles. The adrenalin of the competition, the jubilation of winning Silver and her now famous post-race interview will be a lasting memory of the Beijing Olympic Games for many Australians.
In London 2012 after dominating the Diamond League series, Sally came into to the Olympic Final favourite. Her event was one of the most eagerly anticipated races in Australian sporting history. Again, Sally stunned the nation by winning Gold! Since then Sally has fought back from several serious injuries. She smashed her wrist racing in Italy and then suffered hamstring and achilles tendon tears. This, coupled with coaching issues, had many people writing Sally off. She missed the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 through injury and it was at this point she decided to coach herself and come back from the brink of retirement.
Sally's relentless pursuit of speed and perfection when combined with grit and determination saw her overcome adversity. In August 2017 Sally Pearson won her second World title and followed it up by winning the 2017 Diamond League Final. Sally made the ultimate statement... she is an amazing champion! After struggling with recurring injuries Sally advised her fans that her next two goals to represent Australia at the World Championships in Doha 2019 and at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan were not possible. The injuries had taken their toll and the standards that she expected of herself were no longer attainable. Sally announced her retirement from Athletics in August 2019.
Sally is a great role model for young Australians and young people around the World. She is passionate about her family, animals, athletics, Australia and wants to make a difference. Sally is one of Australia’s and the World’s finest sprinter / hurdlers. Sally’s future now lies in inspiring others to strive for their goals and face the challenges in their lives, their workplace and on the fields of sporting competition.