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Ginn to attempt 24 hour cycling World Record

Australia’s most successful Olympic rower, Drew Ginn, has set his sights on another record, this time in cycling. To raise funds for Australian charity, Tour de Cure, the 40-year-old Melbourne-local is, on Friday 27 November, attempting to ride solo, 900 kilometres in 24 hours at Brunswick Velodrome in Victoria. The record is currently held by Marko Bolah (41) of Slovenia which was set back in 2008 when he completed 890.045km in 24 hours at the Polena Outdoor Track in Slovenia.

Ginn signed up for the mammoth task to not only raise funds for the charity but also as a way to honour his late mother and many others who are affected by cancer across the country: “My mum was beautiful, caring and made me feel so special and important growing up. My whole family did, but it was mum who left before her time. Mum passed away due to cancer in 1987 when I was just 12 years old. This moment in my life was devastating and I struggled to understand why it happened to me, my mum, our family. Having someone taken from me as a young kid like this, impacted and shaped my attitude to life and the crushing loss was hard to comprehend at the time. It did however set me on a course once the grieving process had settled.

“Her death taught me to make the most of my opportunities. I still miss her every day and I have found reason to believe she is still with me as I go through life and I am sure it has contributed to the enjoyment I have tapped into during training, competing and developing as an athlete, a man and as a dad.”

Ginn, who has three Olympic gold medals and one Olympic silver medal, retired from rowing competitively after the London 2012 Olympic Games and has seen how cancer is affecting a number of the Australian rowing community. Ginn said: “Cancer is one of the hardest things to live with and one of the hardest things to deal with if a loved one has it. More recently I have struggled to get my head around its impact on many families close to me and specifically families in our Rowing community where I have seen mums, dads and kids confronted with the challenge of living with, overcoming, and losing their battle with cancer.

“I’m taking on this challenge to honour my mum, my family and those friends near and far who have or are dealing with cancer. Its to seek a challenge so grand that greats like Oppy made it one of his greatest achievements. It’s to support a great cause, Tour de Cure, which I have long wanted to support and raise funds for.

“Since 2007 Tour de Cure has raised in excess of $19M, funded over 200 world class cancer Research, Support & Prevention projects and achieved 16 Cancer Breakthroughs. In addition to this, they have shared a BE FIT BE HEALTHY BE HAPPY cancer awareness message with over 45,000 kids around Australia. This World Record attempt is my way to do all those near and dear to me proud, as they have brought inspiration to me over many years.

“The strength of those who have inspired me, like mum’s, was in the face of serious and significant challenges. In some very small way, I want to do a number of things, I want to raise further awareness for this disease and show my support for those living with cancer; I want to honour those who lost their battle with this disease; I want to do something which will challenge and open my mind and eyes to the human condition and capacity; I want to do something with a team of passionate people which will be all consuming and provide an opportunity to ride and reflect on my mum and those wonderful childhood memories; I want to raise money for Tour de Cure to help with their initiatives which I believe are taking us closer to finding a cure for this disease.”

To find out more about Drew’s challenge and donate to his World Record attempt, click here.