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Anna Meares

Anna Meares OAM started competitive cycling in 1994, aged 11, following her older sister Kerrie Meares into the sport. Anna and Kerrie were inspired to take up competitive cycling by Kathy Watts' winning a Cycling Gold Medal at the 1994 Commonwealth Games. The challenge was that the family lived in a small Queensland coal-mining town, more than two hours' drive from the nearest cycling track at Mackay where the girls went to train.

In 2001 Anna was named Australian Junior Women's Track Cyclist of the Year. She narrowly missed a Bronze Medal in the inaugural inclusion of the 500 metre Time Trial at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, while her older sister, Kerrie won the Gold Medal in the same event. Anna won a Bronze Medal in the Sprint. In May 2004 at the Time Trial World Titles in Melbourne, Anna claimed the title of Women's World Time Trial champion, and won a Silver for the Sprint event. She also came first in the 2004 World Cup Time Trial in Sydney.

During the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Anna won a Gold Medal, and set a new world record in the Women's 500 metre Time Trial. This was no mean feat as Anna had to beat a new Olympic record set minutes before by the reigning World Record holder, Yonghua Jiang of China. Anna also won a Bronze Medal in the Women's 200m Sprint event at the same meet.

Anna broke her neck in a bad cycling accident at the World Cup in January 2008, but she fought her way back and qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the nail-biting Sprint event, Anna overcame incredible odds to miraculously win the Silver Medal.

Anna's own story of her amazing career was released by New Holland Publishers in September 2009.