Gold for Gallagher

Jess Gallagher (Commonwealth Games Australia)

Tara Murray

Former Highton cyclist Jess Gallagher’s remarkable sporting career continues, claiming two golds at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Paralympian and her sighted pilot Caitlin Ward kicked off a gold medal rush on day one for the Aussies.

The 36-year-old is the only Australian to have won a medal at the summer and winter Paralympics, and was competing in her second Commonwealth Games.

Competing in the tandem match sprint B, Gallagher and Ward won the final two races to nil against Scotland.

The pair then teamed up to claim gold in the tandem time trial B.

The pair had only been racing together since February.

“Caitlin and I came here wanting to deliver our best performances and to race the way we have and to see it culminate in two gold medals and two Australian records is extraordinary,” Gallagher told Star Weekly.

“It’s a very special feeling to work towards a goal and see it come to fruition.”

Gallagher only returned to competing in cycling earlier this year after three years away from the sport.

In that time she focused on rowing and she made her international debut on the water for Australia in May.

Gallagher said the results at these games were something that she thought was possible despite training for two sport. She said it was still sinking in.

“I knew it would be hard and challenging but I always believed I had the potential to come back into the sport and perform,” she said.

“It has been such a busy year as a member of both the Australian rowing and cycling teams with the Commonwealth Games a major goal for cycling and to think we are now finished and to have performed to the level we did is more than I could have hoped for. I think this experience will take a while to sink in.”

These games have seen both able and para athletes competing in the one competition.

Gallagher said was special any time she represented Australia.

“Any time you represent Australia is a privilege and for me personally it means a lot to know that my performances on the track can have a positive impact on others whether that be our able bodied team mates, the general public and for me most importantly people with disabilities,” she said.

“To showcase that you can be the best version of yourself in whatever setting you may choose, for me one of those ways is through sport.”