I was deeply saddened this week to hear that Jackie Fairweather Gallagher committed suicide on 2nd November 2014 at the age of 46. Jackie suffered a long battle with depression.
In 1996 I hosted three Australian triathletes for the Bermuda ITU World Cup Triathlon. One of those triathletes was Jackie who finished 4th in the women’s race. I recall that she was devastated not to have at least made the podium because she was such a perfectionist but she vowed to win the world championships. Jackie went on to win the Triathlon World Championships in Cleveland, USA two weeks later. Jackie was a fierce competitor but also a lovely lady . Even though she was only with us for a few days my two boys thought the world of her. Jackie had strong opinions on everything but she also had an engaging personality and a warm smile. I next saw her on a shuttle bus at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, where she won bronze in the marathon, and she fondly recalled her time in Bermuda.
Jackie began competing in triathlons in 1992 and won the elite Australian National Series in her first season. She spent eight years as a professional triathlete. In 1996 when she became the world triathlon champion she set a championship record time of 1 hour 50 minutes 52 seconds . She also won the World Duathlon Championships in 1996 to become the only person ever to win both world titles in one year. In 1999 Jackie won gold at the World Duathlon Championships and silver at the World Triathlon Championships. She also took two other silver medals (1995 and 1997) at the World Triathlon Championships. In 2004 Jackie was appointed Head Coach of the Australian Institute of Sport Triathlon programme and she gained universal recognition for her fantastic work with Australia’s triathletes. Jackie was inducted into the Australian Triathlon Hall of Fame in 2012. RIP Jackie.
Click on “comment” above to read Charlie Duffy’s recollection which I think is correct.