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Gillian Rolton Award

Olympic time again means time to present the Gillian Rolton Award. This is awarded to the female* Australian Olympic athlete who, in her quest for an Olympic medal, does does the most to uphold the true meaning of sport, namely pain, injury and the wilful disregard of expert medical advice. You might think that an award that confers no more than bragging rights would not be highly sought after, but you might be surprised what some people will do to get the Gillian Rolton Award.

Previous winners:
Atlanta, 1996. Gillian Rolton (Equestrian): Horse riding with broken ribs, broken collar bone.
Sydney, 2000. Lauren Burns (Taekwondo): Fighting with pins in her fingers, reconstructed legs.
Salt Lake City, 2002. Alisa Camplin (Aerial Skiing): Skiing with concussion.
Torino, 2006. Alisa Camplin (Aerial Skiing): Skiing with reconstructed knee.
Beijing, 2008. Anna Meares (Cycling): Cycling after breaking her neck.

The Winter Olympics always seems to bring on the best in Gillian Rolton Award competition.

And the winner is...

Vancouver 2010
Torah Bright (Snowboarding)

On her road to the Olympics, Torah suffered two well-publicised concussions. Just before Christmas, she fractured her jaw. Then she suffered a third concussion in a heavy fall that she decided could be kept quiet. In the final round of the Olympic Snowboarding competition, the two-time X games champion botched her first trip down the pipe. Attempting a switch backside 720 - a double spinning trick no other woman has been able to perform - she came in too fast and hit the ice hard, hurting her leg badly. This left her in pain, and last place, as the second runs began, forcing her to ride her second run immediately. On this attempt, though, she performed a flawless switch backside 720. It proved enough to win the Olympic Gold Medal.

For her disregard of pain, injury and the expert advice of the medical profession in her quest for an Olympic Gold Medal, Torah is hereby awarded the Gillian Rolton Award.

* male athletes are eligible instead for Bill Roycroft Award


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
6th Mar, 2010 22:25 (UTC)
7th Mar, 2010 01:11 (UTC)
Well. Huh. On the other hand, there are lots of other crazy athletes in my own country... but still... ouchies to concussions.
7th Mar, 2010 08:22 (UTC)
Did you click on the tags link and read through the old winners' citations? Imagine yourself as Gillian Rolton, riding and jumping on Peppermint Grove with three broken ribs and a smashed collar bone?

How long does a broken jaw take to heal anyway? I was thinking that in 2014 you'll probably need to produce a switch backside 720 just to qualify on the snowboard... the Gillian Rollton seems to be going the same way.
7th Mar, 2010 12:17 (UTC)
That's pretty bad too. :( The concussions are just the ones that are on my sports awareness radar because of possible brain damage. :( Things not to damage: Your brain.

But broken ribs and collar bones... also yeah. I didn't think there ewas much you could do for ribs other than give them time to heal. They aren't like arms or fingers where you can immobilize them.
8th Mar, 2010 20:49 (UTC)
As it happens, a male American snowboarder did suffer serios brain damage attempting the switch backside 720.
8th Mar, 2010 21:57 (UTC)
We got that in our Olympic coverage a lot. Also, a lot.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )