Amy Gillett

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Amy Gillett (9 January 1976 – 18 July 2005) was an Australian track cyclist and rower who represented Australia in both sports before her death in a training accident when a teenage driver crashed into the Australian squad of cyclists with whom she was training in Germany.

Life[edit]

She was born Amy Safe in Adelaide[1] and was educated at Annesley College.[2] She was a world champion junior rower winning a gold medal in the coxless pairs in the Junior World Championships in 1993 and the women's single scull in 1994.[3] Safe came fifth in the single scull in the Nations Cup held in Paris the same year.[4]

At 20, she was a member of the Australian women's eight at the Atlanta Olympics.[1] She was coached by Simon Gillett during her rowing career and later married him in January 2004 moving to Mount Helen near Ballarat. After failing to make the Australian rowing team for the Sydney Olympics she quit the sport[1] but was identified as a cyclist with potential. She was an Australian Institute of Sport rowing and cycling scholarship holder.[5]

In 2002 Gillett was first in the Individual Pursuit Australian Titles, held in Victoria.[6] From 2002 to 2005, she was a member of the Australian Institute of Sport elite cycling squad and represented Australia in the 2002 and 2003 Cycling World Cups.[6] While she was not a member of the Australian cycling team for the 2004 Athens Olympics, her results during 2005 were steadily improving including a third place in the 2005 Road Time Trial Australian Open Titles.[6] She was rated as one of the top 100 women road cyclists at the time of her death and Australian cycling officials had identified her as a potential medallist in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in the time trial.[7]

Death[edit]

Gillett died after an accident near Zeulenroda, Germany on 18 July 2005, when a young German driver lost control of her car and drove head first into six members of the Australian women's cycling squad, who were preparing for the Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen stage race.[7][8][9] Five of Gillett's Australian team mates suffered injuries, most very serious. Katie Brown, Lorian Graham, Kate Nichols, Alexis Rhodes and Louise Yaxley were taken immediately to hospital, with Rhodes and Yaxley suffering major trauma. Graham and Brown had incurred fractures and Nichols had torn tendons requiring surgery. Gillett was undertaking a Doctorate at the University of South Australia at the time of her death.[7] The newly qualified driver was fined €1440 and disqualified from driving for eight months.[10]

Foundation[edit]

Simon Gillett and the Australian Cycling Federation subsequently established the Amy Gillett Foundation ( financial report at[11] )

The Foundation's aims were to:

  • provide financial support for the rehabilitation of Amy's five injured team members;
  • fund and administer a scholarship program for young women cyclists to support their sporting and academic endeavours
  • support and promote projects aimed at road safety awareness amongst cyclists and motorists[12]

On the first anniversary of the death of Amy, the Foundation launched a television advertisement to improve understanding between cyclists and motorists on Australian roads.[13]

Rail trail[edit]

In January 2010 the Amy Gillett Rail Trail was opened at Oakbank, South Australia.[14] The trail follows a section of the former Mount Pleasant railway line.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "From Olympic rower to cycling world champion". The Age, Melbourne. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Road safety program launched". Adelaide Advertiser. 14 August 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Australian Medallists". Rowing Australia. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "1994 Nations Cup— Paris France". Guerin-Foster History of Australian Rowing. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  5. ^ AIS Athletes at the Olympics
  6. ^ a b c "Amy Gillett". Cycling Australia. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c "Aust team cyclist killed in Germany". ABC News. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "We're on the mend, say riders". The Age, Melbourne. 24 July 2005. 
  9. ^ "Cycling ace killed while training". BBC Sport. 19 July 2005. 
  10. ^ Kröner, Hedwig (7 February 2006). "AIS crash verdict: "German law was applied"". cyclingnews.com. 
  11. ^ http://www.amygillett.org.au/reports-2
  12. ^ "About AGF". Amy Gillett Foundation. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Watch the Amy Gillett Foundation's TV commercial". Wheels of Justice. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "Amy Gillett Rail Trail (Stage 1) Official Opening (SA)". Railtrails Australia. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 

External links[edit]