Nova Peris-Kneebone

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Nova Peris-Kneebone

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Nova Peris-Kneebone had dreamed back then that one-day she would run for her country. Leaving the world of hockey, to the mutterings of the critics, she succeeded brilliantly in the years 1997-2000 - winning two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur (1998) - in the 200 metres and 4x100 metres relay, then representing Australia as a 400 metres runner at the Sydney Olympics (2000).

Nova was the first to carry the Olympic flame on Australia soil for the Sydney 2000 Games when she accepted the torch at Uluru.

Nova is a remarkable Australian. She is one of only three Australian mothers to win Olympic gold - and her dual success at the highest international level is without parallel. Her sporting success is the pinnacle of her achievement so far - but Nova's interests go way beyond the playing fields. She is an acclaimed artist, and a passionate and powerful voice in support of major Aboriginal causes.

Married to fellow Olympian Daniel Batman, she is the mother of two daughters, Jessica and Destiny .

Nova holds a unique place in the Australian sporting pantheon. A member of the brilliant team which won hockey gold at the Atlanta Olympics of 1996, Nova promptly switched sports - to chase a dream which had lived in her the days when she was a barefoot star in Darwin.

The Olympic dream continues to burn brightly in her, and in the spring of 2002 she returned to the training track in Canberra - her sights lifted to the Athens Olympics of 2004.

Nova is also an author. "Nova: My Story" - her inspirational autobiography of Australia's first Aboriginal gold medallist at an Olympic Games; released in 2003.

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