Mr ENTSCH: The word ‘legend’ is one that is often used and branded about, especially when referring to our sporting heroes.
But what really makes a sporting legend—passion, dedication, success?
If they’re the criteria then Cairns Paralympic athlete Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson has certainly earnt the title.
Scooter, as he’s commonly known, recently competed in the pool in the Tokyo Olympics, where he literally had the whole city cheering him on.
Scooter, who competed in five events, won a silver medal in the 50-metre breaststroke and a bronze in the 150-metre medley, his first Paralympic medals since taking up competitive swimming in 2009.
His breathtaking swim in the 50-metre breaststroke final was truly inspirational.
Scooter’s performance in Tokyo has certainly and rightfully etched his name in Australian sporting folklore.
You would be hard-pressed to find a more down-to-earth person and sporting ambassador than Scooter Patterson.
Scooter’s zest for and love of life, combined with a good old-fashioned dose of Aussie larrikin humour, made him a toast of the games.
Aussies and people from around the world couldn’t get enough of a guy on a scooter from Cairns.
Scooter, in his own unique way, lifted our spirits.
He gave us that little something that I think we needed and has been missing now for the past 18 months.
He certainly made us smile.
On Scooter’s return to Australia, plans were well and truly underway to ensure that we as a community could give back to someone who’s given us so much.
Cairns Regional Council organised the ultimate honour last month, when Scooter was presented with the keys to the city.
The event on a sun-soaked afternoon at the Tobruk Memorial Pool was attended by more than 500 people, including four-time Olympian Dawn Fraser.
I thought it would be fitting to leave the final words to Scooter, who told the Cairns Post:
“With what I’ve done in Tokyo and in all my future adventures, I hope to inspire and motivate everyone here today and continue to inspire and motivate everyone in Cairns, Australia and the world.”
From my perspective, and from everybody else who knows Scooter—and I’ll say this directly to Scooter—I can safely say, mate, you’ve certainly done that and more in relation to inspiring, in more ways than you can imagine.
Congratulations on a job absolutely well done, and I look forward to you competing in the future.
You are up there on a pedestal. You are an inspiration to each and every one of us.
Thank you, Scooter.