Thursday, March 01, 2012
As a “World Athlete of the Century” winner, Dawn Fraser has seen many battles fought and won, but nothing quite like the grape crush, which is a major attraction of the Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival.
Dawn will be attending her first Apple and Grape Festival this weekend and is looking forward to being the Master of Ceremonies (MC) of Saturday’s grape crush.
“It will be interesting because I haven’t seen anything like it before. I think it will be just a fun event to see,” she told the Southern Free Times.
Dawn will also be making the golf and bowls presentations during the festival but her main role will be Ambassador for Live Life Villages. The retirement village will have a display on Saturday as part of this Queensland iconic event.
Live Life Villages marketing director Sue Fallon said Dawn represented the village’s philosophy that “retirement from work doesn’t mean retirement from life”.
Ms Fallon said although Dawn is known as Australia’s most successful and highly respected Olympian, she is also well respected for her active community participation and her positive outlook on life.
“She understands the hardships with all the storms in the last 12 months and wants to support the community,” Ms Fallon said.
“The Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Festival is something she’s looking forward to coming to and enjoying Stanthorpe in all its glory because a lot of things come together at the Apple and Grape.”
Festival committee president Keith Barnett was stoked that someone of Dawn’s calibre was attending the local festival.
“Everyone knows how great an Ambassador Dawn Fraser is,” Mr Barnett said.
“Dawn Fraser is really an iconic sportsperson. She’s probably the biggest star we’ve had at the festival and hopefully more people will come as a result,” he said.
In 1999, Dawn was awarded “World Athlete of the Century” at the World Sport Awards in Vienna and “Athlete of the Century” by the Australian Sports Hall of Fame.
She was voted the person who best symbolises Australia and in 1998 was included as one of Australia’s National Living Treasures.
Her official website says: “Dawn Fraser’s sporting accomplishments are unlikely to be repeated – in swimming or any other sport. She is an international phenomenon; a multi-Olympic and Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winner whose success stretched over 15 magnificent years. During her career she broke and held 41 World records and was undefeated over 100 metres freestyle”.
Story: Rebecca Brown