1967 - 2008
A promising junior athlete, Kerryn McCann ran her first marathon when she was 19, placing third at the Australian Championships. McCann made her Olympic debut at Atlanta in 1996, coming 28th in the marathon in 2:36.41. Four years later she bettered both her time and place in front of her home crowd in Sydney coming 11th in 2:28.37. Athens 2004 was her third and final Olympic campaign, finishing the marathon in 2:41.41 to come 31st.
She competed in her first Commonwealth Games in 1994 coming 10th. McCann took out the marathon title at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games but it was her Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games that she is perhaps best remembered for. In an inspiring finish to the marathon, McCann and Kenyan Hellen Cherono swapped the lead over the final three kilometres of the course. The capacity crowd at the MCG watched on screen as the two athletes fought it out, cheering wildly when McCann took the lead, the support giving McCann the power to take gold and successfully defend her title.
In August 2007, McCann, who was expecting her third child announced that she was being treated for breast cancer. After having surgery to remove the lump, she was then induced, giving birth to son Cooper on 5 September 2007 (6 weeks premature). On 7 December 2008, at the age of 41, McCann sadly lost her battle and passed away.