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until the 2018 Commonwealth Games commence.
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April 4 to 15 2018

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Headquarters Dedicated To The Legendary Runner Ron Clarke

30 May 2016

Australian middle distance running legend and former Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke AO, MBE was remembered this morning at a special dedication ceremony at the Ashmore headquarters of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC).

The former TAFE campus Block A was named The Ron Clarke Building after the 17-time world record holder by the Minister for the Commonwealth Games Stirling Hinchliffe.

Minister Hinchliffe said the dedication recognised Clarke’s pivotal involvement in the successful bid for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

There is no doubt the powerful mix of Ron’s status as a world-recognised athlete, combined with his civic leadership assisted the bid greatly.

Indeed, his personal contribution to that success is one of the key reasons we are standing here today.

Ron Clarke was unquestionably one of the all-time greats of world middle distance running at a time of enormous depth in the Australian ranks.

Whilst Ron never won Olympic or Commonwealth gold medal, he without doubt revolutionised his sport with his 17 official world records and showed generations of runners, and people from all walks of life, what could be achieved with hard work and courage.

GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC remembered Clarke as a mayor with an athlete’s focus.

He was a mayor with an extremely strong will who wasn’t afraid of breaking ranks to achieve a noble aim.

And as a Commonwealth Games competitor in Perth in 1962, Kingston 1966 and Edinburgh in 1970, he certainly knew what the Games were about.

I know that then-Premier Anna Bligh and the entire bid team had the highest respect and admiration for what he brought to the table in 2011.

I certainly shared that admiration.

As Premier during the first three years of Ron’s mayoralty I found him to be one of the most honest and forthright people to ever visit my office, and an absolute gentleman.

GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters recalled Clarke’s desire for the 2018 Games to genuinely inspire young people to take an interest in sport and fitness.

It’s a philosophy GOLDOC was keen to share with Ron and we believe at the end of the day it will be a great shared legacy for our organisation and his memory.

Ron was always generous with his time with aspiring athletes and his legendary deeds will continue to influence generations of runners for many years to come.

And to see the reverence in which he was held by visiting Commonwealth Games Association delegates during their visits to the city during the bid process spoke volumes for the awe in which he continued to be held in the global sporting arena.

Ron’s wife Helen said her husband was thrilled when the bid was won and excited about the possibilities it opened up for the city.

Many times when he and I spoke about the 2018 Games he did so with his civic hat on.

He was just as excited about the infrastructure he saw going up around him and the changes he could see happening in the city as he was about the sporting competition which, given his athletics background, I think speaks volumes for his genuine love for the Gold Coast.

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