Back in 2000, Manchester invited some of the Worlds outstanding sportsmen and women to become International ambassadors for the Games.
With the Wealth of Commonwealth talent available, selecting just a few proved a daunting task.
Manchester 2002 wanted to find individuals whose talent and fame transcended their individual countries. Athletes who could personify all the dreams of supporters worldwide. Athletes representing each Commonwealth continents. Athletes whose personality reflected the unique spirit of the Commonwealth Games.
Tanni is without doubt one of Britain’s most outstanding athletes and her passion and enthusiasm for her sport can be quite infectious. She has performed at world-class level for the past thirteen years, in distances ranging from 100m to the marathon.
Her 13 medals and her comprehensive set of British and World Records make her achievements second to none in the disability sport arena.
A superb all round talent, Denise has progressed to the highest level at the Heptathlon. She was UK woman athlete of the year in 1996 when she was Britain’s only Olympic athletics medallist. In 1997 she took the World Championship silver medal and in 1998 despite missing crucial weeks through injury, she won double gold at European Championships and Commonwealth Games. She realised her lifetime ambition when she won the Olympic gold medal in Sydney, Australia 2000.
Moses Kiptanui ( Kenya)
No one has dominated the 3000m steplechase like Moses Kiptanui. He was the first man under the magic eight minute mark, posting two world records in this event, but Moses also has an astonishing range. He was world junior champion in 1500m and went on to take seven world records in distances ranging from 3000m to 5000m, three world titles and an Olympic silver medal ( 1996).
Elana Meyer ( South Africa )
After 20 Years in the sporting wilderness due to apartheid rules, South Africa was allowed to compete in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and Elana Meyer’s pedigree as one of the World’s best distance runners was established when she finished second in the 1000m.
In 1994, Elana not only took the Commonwealth silver medal but set African and Commonwealth records in the 10000m.
Ato Boldon (Trinidad & Tobago)
Ato is the defending Commonwealth champion in the 100m, which is considered one of the toughest events of the Games.
In Kuala Lumpur he broke the Commonwealth record with a thrilling time of 9.88 seconds, bringing home Trinidad & Tobago’s first Commonwealth gold medal for 32 years.
Willy Kirui (Kenya )
As a Games ambassador Kirui is enjoying cult status in his home country.
He was Kenya’s School Cross Country champion in 2000, runner up in Kenya’s school Athletics Championships at 10,000m and has been described by his cousin Kiptanui as a future Commonwealth Champion.
Ian Thorpe ( Australia )
Thorpe has won enough gold medals to fill a treasure chest. He was catapulted into the World scene after winning four gold medals in Kuala Lumpur, and reached legendary status at the Sydney Olympics with three gold medals and two silver. He has also picked up 17 world records.
Jonah Lomu ( New Zealand )
A giant man, at 6ft 5in and almost 19 stone, and the youngest ever All Black when he made his debut in 1994.
He is a sporting icon. He knows he has a remarkable talent but he uses that knowledge to do what many others never attempt – to be a true ambassador for the sport.