Casey Stoner, Cadel Evans receive Queen’s Birthday honours

Posted: June 10, 2013 by JonoShmono "SykOse. Live. Extreme." in Bike, Moto GP, Motor, Road cycling
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Casey Stoner

Award … Stoner receives honour for services to motorcycle racing.

Twice MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner and Australia‘s first Tour de France winner Cadel Evans headline a group of sportspeople feted in today’s Queen’s Birthday honours.

Both Stoner and Evans have been appointed Members (AM) in the General Division for their significant service to motorcycle racing and to cycling and to the community respectively.

Dual world MotoGP champion Stoner, 27, who is married to Adelaide-born Adriana, retired last year and is now aiming for a career in V8 Supercars.

Stoner, who was also named Young Australian of the Year in 2008, debuted in the second-tier development series at the Clipsal 500 earlier this year.

Cadel Evans

Cadel Evans

Since his 2011 Tour de France win, Evans, 36, continues to compete and promote Australia to the world.

“It is both a privilege and an honour for me to be awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), particularly given the quality of person this accolade has been bestowed upon in years past,” he said.

He congratulated the other recipients and said despite the amount of time he spends overseas he would always call Australia home.

“I am an extremely proud Australian who is proud to represent his country on cycling’s world stage every time I compete,” he said.

“I cherish what it means to be Australian and times such as this encourage us to consider our past and embrace our future.”

Record-breaking runner Ron Clarke was awarded an AO for distinguished service to the community through a range of leadership roles with local government and philanthropic organisations, and to the promotion of athletics.

As an athlete, Ron Clarke set multiple world records, over distances ranging from two miles to 20km. As a businessman, Clarke headed organisations including sportswear company Adidas Australia.

As a philanthropist, Clarke founded the Council for the Encouragement of Philanthropy in Australia – and helped organise donations of more than $25 million to 65 different charities.

Clarke, a Gold Coast mayor for two terms, gained prominence on the athletics track in the 1950s and 1960s and officially set 17 world records.

Clarke won silver and bronze medals at Commonwealth and Olympic Games. But he never won a gold, with bad luck and illness at major championships thwarting him.

But Clarke is still the proud keeper of an Olympic gold medal – given to him by distance running legend Emil Zatopek, the Czech who won the 5000m, 10,000m and marathon at the 1952 Olympics.

Clarke was in Prague in 1968 – the year he nearly died from altitude sickness after collapsing at the 1968 Mexico Games.

The Australian and Zatopek were mutual admirers and spent a day in Prague together.  Zatopek dropped Clarke at the airport, embraced him, and handed him a small parcel.

“Not out of friendship, but because you deserve it,” Zatopek told him.

Clarke kept the package in his pocket until his plane was air-borne.

“I wondered whether I was smuggling something out for him,” Clarke said. “I retired to the privacy of the lavatory. When I unwrapped the box, there, inscribed with my name and that day’s date, was Emil’s Olympic 10,000m gold medal. I sat on that toilet seat and wept.”

Medals (OAM) in the General Division were awarded to swimmer Matt Welsh, squash stalwart Michelle Martin, AFL identity Ross Oakley and rugby union legend Bill Ross.

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