Mo­ments in time

From a home grown prime min­is­ter to heinous crim­i­nals, min­eral S boom to fi­nan­cial gloom, se­rial Ori­gin cham­pi­ons to sem­i­nal bal­let de­buts … QUEENS­LAN­DERS HAVE SEEN THEM ALL.

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - UPFRONT - Robert Craddock

Key events since 2005, and where to next

If the bud­get busts and the coal­fields run out of black gold, there’s still one night in this state when it sim­ply does not mat­ter. When Queens­land wins the an­nual State of Ori­gin se­ries. It’s why sports fans re­mem­ber a year like 2008 for their third Ori­gin se­ries win in a row rather than the small mat­ter of a Global Fi­nan­cial Cri­sis, which seemed so pe­riph­eral by com­par­i­son.

And it’s why one of the sport­ing high­lights of the past decade for Queens­land is not a name but a num­ber: nine. Nine wins from ten Ori­gin se­ries. It’s one of those jaw-drop­ping sta­tis­tics that the com­pe­ti­tion had never seen be­fore and will surely never see again. It’s the golden stud in a boun­ti­ful decade for Queens­land sport, fea­tur­ing three A-League soc­cer ti­tles, one Su­per Rugby cham­pi­onship, two Queens­land NRL pre­mier­ships in­clud­ing this month’s Bron­cos-Cow­boys grand fi­nal, two na­tional net­ball cham­pi­onships for the Fire­birds, and two Sh­effield Shield cricket ti­tles.

For a defin­ing mo­ment, noth­ing can com­pare to the Cow­boys’ stun­ning golden point win over the Bron­cos in Syd­ney last week to make them this year’s pre­miers, al­ready widely ac­claimed as the great­est grand fi­nal of all.

If pushed for an Ori­gin mo­ment to re­mem­ber, you might like to toast Cooper Cronk for his serieswin­ning field goal in 2012, or Dar­ren Lock­yer for his send-off 34-24 win in the fi­nal game of his fi­nal year in 2011. But the glit­ter­ing era be­longed to no one man or mo­ment. Rather, it was the lux­u­ri­ous sum of many com­mit­ted parts.

For stand­out solo per­for­mances on the global stage, Queens­lan­ders had more than its share of tri­umphs over the past decade. The sight of Adam Scott, nor­mally so emo­tion­ally re­served, rais­ing his arms through the gloom and quiv­er­ing with joy in 2013, af­ter be­com­ing the first Aus­tralian to win the cov­eted US Masters golf tour­na­ment, will be a cel­e­brated na­tional mo­ment for as long as sport is played. For a while it seemed noth­ing could top it in the emo­tion stakes – then along came Ja­son Day. His win in the re­cent PGA tour­na­ment in the US, his first vic­tory in one of golf’s four ma­jors, would have drawn a tear from a tomb­stone. From the death of his fa­ther when Day was 12 to the ded­i­ca­tion of his Queens­land-based mother who worked mul­ti­ple jobs to sup­port him – then re­fused to take a cent back – this was one of the most touch­ing tales of Queens­land life, not sim­ply sport and his week-long ten­ure as the world’s num­ber one golfer last month was another high.

When hur­dler Sally Pearson won a photo fin­ish at the 2012 Lon­don Olympics for a cher­ished gold medal, her ef­fort gained lus­tre be­cause of her jour­ney to get there. This was the woman who, as a Gold Coast school­girl, used to catch two buses to train­ing where she worked so hard she would oc­ca­sion­ally vomit be­side the track.

The word tough­ness was re­de­fined by Queens­land Olympians in Lon­don. Cy­clist Anna Meares, the coalminer’s daugh­ter from Black­wa­ter in the state’s Cen­tral High­lands, could have been fin­ished for good when she broke her neck in a fall in 2008, yet four years later she took on Eng­land’s track queen Vic­to­ria Pendle­ton in front of her own ob­ses­sive fans and emerged with an epic gold medal.

Swim­mer Stephanie Rice’s three Bei­jing golds in 2008 and ten­nis player Sam Sto­sur’s 2011 US Open fi­nal win over Ser­ena Wil­liams com­pleted a won­der­ful decade for Queens­land sportswomen.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.