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Star athletes kick-off AFL Grand Final

27 Sep 05 06:31
Australia’s champion athletes celebrate the 2005 AFL Grand FinalAustralia’s champion athletes joined with AFL champions to celebrate the 2005 AFL Grand Final Week in Melbourne in leading the pre-match entertainment.

The superstars of Australian sport participated in many of the special events that accompanied the AFL Grand Final including the pre-match entertainment, the street parade, and various appearances at Melbourne’s Federation Square as part of Toyota’s Footy Zone.

The athletes were excited about the prospect of being a part of ‘that one day in September.’

"It will be a fantastic experience for the athletes to be on the ‘G’ in front of a capacity crowd of sports fanatics on one of the biggest days on the Australian sporting calendar,” said basketball legend Andrew Gaze.

A cavalcade of athletes from all Commonwealth disciplines were in the pre-match entertainment. Athletes of the ilk of Josh Ross (Athletics), Brooke Hanson (Aquatics), and Katie Mactier (Cycling) were all present at the ‘G’ on Grand Final day.

Extra special guests were Basketball legend and Games Ambassador Andrew Gaze and Athletics star Benita Johnson.

The big surprise however was the guest appearances of track star Jana Pittman and swimming legend Ian Thorpe.

The full list of athletes that were in Grand Final festivities on the big day:

Sport Athlete
Aquatics Chantelle Newbury
Athletics Josh Ross
Badminton Tania Luiz
Basketball Jason Smith
Boxing Jarrod Fletcher
Cycling Katie Mactier
Gymnastics Monette Russo
Hockey Travis Brooks
Lawn Bowls Steve Glasson
Netball Sharelle McMahon
Rugby 7s Matt Giteau
Shooting Russell Mark
Squash Amelia Pittock
Table Tennis David Zalcberg
Triathlon Loretta Harrop
Weightlifting Yourik Sarkisian
EAD Aquatics Sam Bramham
EAD Athletics Tim Matthews

The Games also featured in the Grand Final street parade on Friday 23 September. Katie Mactier and Kyle Vander Kuyp joined the parade in a special Commonwealth Games Toyota Hilux and met the official Games mascot Karak at the end of the parade in Treasury Gardens.

For an extra special look inside at what Australia's champion athletes did throughout the AFL Grand Final celebrations, see our Karak Photo Gallery of the Games at AFL Grand Final weekend.
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