|Amy Gillett, 1976-2005|
Today would have been the birthday of Amy Gillett, who was born in Adelaide in 1976. Originally a world-class rower, Amy had been idientified as a track and road cyclist with enormous potential and was predicted to win medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Tragically, she was killed in Germany when a driver lost control of his car and ploughed into a group of cyclists with whom she was training on the 18th of July 2005. Five of her team mates were seriously injured, two sufficiently so that it was thought they also might die. Amy was 29 when she died and was studying for a PhD. She had been married for less than a year and a half.
The Amy Gillett Foundation was set up in her honour, an organisation that aims to cut cyclist fatalities on the road to zero by encouraging safer cycling and increasing awareness of cyclists among other road users as well as funding two scholarships per annum, one to a young female athlete and one to a researcher whose work will assist in reducing cyclist deaths on the roads. You can learn more about their work here.
Though known primarily for her success as a mountain biker, Mette Andersen has also enjoyed considerable success in both cyclo cross and road racing. Born in Denmark on this day in 1974, she won the National MTB Cross Country Championship every year from 2001 to 2004, the National Cyclo Cross Championship in 2002, 2003 and 2005 and the National Individual Time Trial Championship in 2004. Prior to her retirement, she came second in the National Cyclo Cross Championship of 2010.
Happy birthday to Mat "The Condor" Hoffman, born on this day in 1972. Mat is widely renowned as one of the best vert BMX riders the world has ever seen, breaking world records and inventing new tricks for many years and in doing o developing, promoting and driving the sport. He is also the owner and founder of the famous Hoffman BMX brand.
Happy birthday to Yoanka González, 2004 World Scratch Race Champion, born in Cuba in 1976.
Happy birthday to Emanuele Sella, the Italian cyclist born in 1981.
More birthdays: János Dévai (Hungary, 1940); Mariano Friedick (USA, 1975); José Gómez (Spain, 1944); Verena Jooß (Germany, 1979); Maxim Belkov (USSR, 1985); Michael Markussen (Denmark, 1955); Kyoshi Miura (Japan, 1961); Janusz Sałach (Poland, 1957); Volodymyr Semenets (USSR, 1950); Jason Donald (USA, 1980); David Bernabeu (Spain, 1978).