Queensland Sport Hall of Fame

Ms Emma Snowsill OAM

For 1hr58min27sec on 18 August 2008 Emma Snowsill put herself through her own special brand of torture. She swam 1500m, road 25km on a bike, and ran 10km. And at the end of it she collected a gold medal from the Beijing Olympic Games.

The pocket-sized dynamo from the Gold Coast, all 161cm and 49kg of her, was waving the Aussie flag even before she crossed the finish line. Afterwards she embraced the other place-getters and climbed into the stands to hug coach Craig Walton. And then, in one of the
most moving moments in Australian sport, she wept.

The very public two hours of competitive torture in Beijing was only part of the story. Behind it was a much bigger triumph over pain, tragedy and frustration.

In 2002, with the 2004 Athens Olympics in her sights, her life was turned upside down when her boyfriend and fellow triathlete Luke Harrup was killed in a hit-and-run car accident. In 2003, having resisted the temptation to quit the sport and re-emerged as favorite for gold in Athens, she was put out of the Games by injury.

That the young lady who now goes by Emma Frodeno even got to Beijing four years later was an achievement in itself. And to come from behind in the run leg and win the biggest race of her life was the highlight of a career that included the world junior championship in 2000, three open world championships in 2003-05-07, and the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medal in Melbourne.

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