Jackie Fairweather

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Jackie Fairweather
Jackie Fairweather.jpg
Personal information
Full nameJacquilyn Louise Fairweather
Nationality Australia
Born(1967-11-10)10 November 1967
Perth, Western Australia
Died1 November 2014(2014-11-01) (aged 46)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Jacquilyn Louise "Jackie" Fairweather (née Gallagher; 10 November 1967 – 1 November 2014)[1] was an Australian world champion triathlete, long-distance runner, coach and Australian Institute of Sport high performance administrator.


Jacquilyn Louise Gallagher was born on 10 November 1967 in Perth.[2] Her parents were Delys and Martin and she had two younger brothers Matthew and Joshua.[1] In 1979, whilst living in Sydney she became involved in little athletics.[2] She moved to Brisbane in the mid 1980s and in 1989, she completed a Bachelor of Human Movement Studies (First Class Honours) at the University of Queensland.[2] In 1991, she completed a Master of Science (Exercise Physiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation) at the Eastern Illinois University.[2] In 2001, she moved to Canberra to take up the position of Head Coach of the newly established Australian Institute of Sport triathlon program.[3] In 2004, she married Simon Fairweather, Australian archery gold medalist from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.[4]

Triathlon career[edit]

Fairweather began competing in triathlons in 1992 and won the elite Australian National Series in her first season. She spent eight years as a professional triathlete. In 1996 she became the world triathlon champion, setting a championship record time of 1 hour 50 minutes 52 seconds in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. She also won the World Duathlon Championships in 1996 to become the only person ever to win both world titles in the same year.[2]

Fairweather won the Duathlon World Championships again in 1999, but missed repeating the double when she placed 2nd to Loretta Harrop in the Triathlon World Championship. Gallagher collected further World Championship silver medals in 1995 and 1997.[2]

Distance running career[edit]

She won the bronze medal in the marathon in the 2002 Commonwealth Games,[2] after finishing 11th in her first ever marathon in Boston.[5] In 2005, she won the Gold Coast Marathon.[6]

IAAF Personal Bests[7]

Event Time Place Date
5000 metres 16:19.43 Melbourne 12 February 2004
Half marathon 1:18:37 Gold Coast 1 July 2007
Marathon 2:32:40 Nagoya 14 March 2004
100 kilometres run 7:41:23 Keswick 19 September 2009

Sports administration[edit]

In 2001, Fairweather was appointed to the position of Head Coach of the newly established Australian Institute of Sport triathlon program. From 2005 to her death on 2014, she held senior sport administration positions with the Australian Sports Commission /Australian Institute of Sport. These positions primarily assisted the high performance programs of national sports organisations.[8]

Fairweather played a major role in triathlon administration and positions included: Triathlon Australia national elite selector, International Triathlon Union (ITU) Athletes Committee (1998–2002) athlete member, ITU Women's Committee member (1997–98) and Triathlon Australia Board Member (first ever athletes' representative) (1998–2001).[2]


On 4 November 2014, it was announced that Fairweather had died by suicide at the age of 46 on 1 November 2014, nine days before her 47th birthday.[9][10] Her death led to many former athletes recognizing her achievements.

Her Australian triathlon rival in the 1990s, Emma Carney said "Jackie was a perfectionist and I think perhaps Jackie never really appreciated – or realised – all that she achieved. It wasn't just the races she won, or the sports she excelled in – Jackie was a pioneer in Australian triathlon coaching and administration."

Emma Snowsill, 2008 Beijing Olympics Women's Triathlon gold medalist commented that "You shared and cared in your knowledge and passion for our sport more than anyone Jackie Fairweather. Not only a hero for your athletic abilities but your generosity to help many up and coming athletes to pave a way for themselves and the future of this sport is second to none."[2] Snowsill was a member of Fairweather's Australian Institute of Sport triathlon squad.

Her Memorial Service was held at the AIS Arena with more than 600 people attending. The location was apt as it was where Jackie worked for 13 years and met her husband Simon.[11]



  1. ^ a b "Death notice – Jackie Fairweather". Canberra Times. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Vale Jackie Fairweather (nee Gallagher)". Athletics NSW News, 3 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  3. ^ "World Champion takes up coaching position at AIS". Australian Sports Commission News21 December 2000. Archived from the original on 29 March 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Fairweather and friends target golden opportunity". 22 July 2004.
  5. ^ Gallagher makes spectacular transition to marathon[dead link]
  6. ^ Marathon effort wins race for Tanzanian runner
  7. ^ "Athlete Profile – Jackie Fairweather". IAAF. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Jackie Fairweather". Australian Sports Commission News, 4 November 2014. Archived from the original on 11 March 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  9. ^ Steele, Selina; Grundy, Neale (4 November 2014). "Australian sporting community is in mourning after death of legendary triathlete Jackie Fairweather". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  10. ^ Gavel, Time (4 November 2014). "Jackie Fairweather: Australian athletics community mourns death of world champion". ABC.net.au.
  11. ^ Wilson, Chris (13 November 2014). "Husband, friends and sporting foes toast triathlon champion Jackie Fairweather". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  12. ^ "Three Aussie Greats Inducted into Triathlon Australia's Hall of Fame". Triathlon Australia. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Jackie Fairweather". ITU Hall of Fame website. Retrieved 16 September 2017.

External links[edit]