Olympic Stories

Anna Meares - Cycling

Anna Meares - Cycling

Born on September 21, 1983 in Blackwater, Queensland, Australia, Anna Maree Meares is a track cyclist who will be representing her home country of Australia in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Although Meares has set quite a few track records on various courses, and although she is considered to be one of the best cyclists in the world, she has certainly had her share of ups and downs.

Anna is always a strong contender and stands out as one of the cyclists to fear the most heading into this year’s Olympic Games. An Olympic vet, she knows exactly what to expect in these events. Meares has been forced to switch events simply to have the honor of competing for her country in the Games, and this has certainly strengthened her resolve and has helped her to hone her talents.

Sporting Career

Anna Meares knew that she wanted to be a cyclist when her sister took up the sport at a young age. Following in her sister’s footsteps, Meares began competing at age 11, the same year that her idol, Kathy Watt, won the 1994 Commonwealth Games gold medal. It was hard to train in the little town of Middlemount.

There wasn’t any track to race on; the nearest being more than two hours away in Mackay. Even still, Anna constantly trained and competed whenever she could.

In 2004, ten years after getting her start, Anna really started to stand out. She earned her spot on Australia’s Olympic team and set a world record in the Women’s 500m time trial en route to winning a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. She also took home a bronze medal in the same Games. These wins instantly cemented Anna’s position amongst cyclers.

There would be no opportunity to repeat as Olympic champion in Beijing in 2008. Unfortunately, this particular event (500m) did not make it onto the program. Anna would get to race in the next Olympics, but she also had successes while waiting.

Time Trial events are huge in cycling, and this is where Anna really excels. Along with winning gold in 2004, Meares also competed at the Time Trial World Titles and won the women’s championships along with a silver medal in the sprint event. That same year, Anna would also claim gold in the World Cup Time Trial.

In Beijing in 2008, Anna was representing her country in the sprint races. After losing her first heat and having to re-run the second, Meares barely made it into the final head-to-head ride-off. She nearly wrecked her bike when an opponent veered toward her out of control, but Anna would stay upright and win. In the final, however, Anna lost and ended up winning silver.

Career Highlights

  • 2004 Olympic Games – Gold, Bronze
  • 2004 Time Trial World Titles – Gold, Silver
  • 2007 World Track Championships – World Record
  • 2007 World Cup – Gold
  • 2008 Olympic Games – Silver
  • 2012 Olympic Games – Gold, Bronze (team)

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