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The triathlon community suffered a great loss with the passing of Jackie Fairweather (nee Gallagher) on Monday.
Fairweather (who raced as Jackie Gallagher) was part of a contingent of speedy female Aussies who dominated the sport throughout the ’90s. Fairweather won the ITU World Championship in 1996, and three silver medals in 1995, 1997 and 1999, and was known for her stellar run. The Australian continued to contribute to the sport well after retiring in 2000 after not making the Sydney Olympic team. She became the head coach of the Australian Institute of Sport Triathlon program, serving as the high performance manager and recruiting athletes like Emma Snowsill. Though no longer racing on the ITU circuit, Fairweather stayed competitive by turning to the marathon. She competed in the 2001 Boston Marathon, finishing in 2:35:46 and earning a spot on the 2002 Commonwealth Games team in Manchester, England. She earned the bronze medal in that race, and then went on to win the Gold Coast Marathon in 2005. Read more about her career at Triathlon.org.
The reaction from the triathlon community on social media shows how much influence Fairweather had on the sport.
Chrissie Wellington (@Chrissiesmiles): “So sorry to hear about the death of Jackie Fairweather: Australian triathlon sporting icon, who worked tirelessly to also empower others”
Luke McKenzie (@LukeMcKeznie): “Very sad today waking to news of Jackie Fairweather. A mentor to myself & a whole generation of Aussie triathletes.”
Leanda Cave (@LeandaCave): “I’m absolutely shocked & upset to hear Jackie Fairweather passed away today. She was a friend & great triathlete. RIP. You shaped me as an athlete & a person.”
Erin Densham (@ErinDensham): “Saddened to wake to this news. At a loss for words 🙁 RIP”
Siri Lindley (@SELTS): “Jackie Fairweather. U inspired me. U challenged me. U were a friend. May u always know how loved n respected you were. U will b missed. RIP”
Marisol Casado (@MarisolCadado): “Very sad to hear that Jackie Fairweather (nee Gallagher) has passed. She greatly contributed to the triathlon community & will be missed”