Elite athletes are role models. We celebrate their victories and find inspiration in their determination. In this series, I want to share some of the most inspirational athletes I know.
My background in sport science and sports chaplaincy has brought me into contact with some amazing people. They are unique people, not just because of their athletic achievements, but also because of their achievements outside of sport.
Dr. Greg Cox is one of the best I know. In both his sporting and professional careers, he has made an outstanding contribution to Australian sport. His story is inspirational.
Greg’s sporting career started on the Gold Coast competing in Surf Lifesaving. This included a stint as a professional within the Nutri-Grain Ironman series before switching to triathlons.
As a state level swimmer Greg would often lead out of the water and cement his position till the finish line.
During the World Triathlon Age Group Championships on the Gold Coast Greg did exactly that: leading out of the water, overtaken by a few competitors on the bike and then recapturing the lead on the run to secure a World Championship victory.
Greg has racked up many other great performances including several Ironman triathlons including the World Ironman Triathlon Championships in Hawaii. One of the highlights I remember watching was a long course triathlon in Canberra.
Greg, a sport scientist for the Australian Institute of Sport, had been working with the AIS athletes for this race. However, on race day he joined the racing, finishing third overall and beating most of his athletes. He also set a swim record beating the previous record set by an Olympic Gold Medallist.
However, Greg’s greatest contribution comes in two other areas. Initially trained as an exercise physiologist, Greg studied sports dietetics and nutrition securing a scholarship at the AIS.
From there he has completed his PhD to become one of the world leaders in both research and applied nutrition. He works as a high performance manager for several sports and is currently guiding many of Australia’s athletes towards the next Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The other great contribution he has made is in his family. After supporting his father, Ronnie, through terminal prostate cancer, Greg became a strong advocate for research into this disease.
Greg is an inspiration because he strives for excellence in his sport, in the athletes he works with and because he is a loving husband and father. A true champion.
Check out his AIS cookbooks the Survival series. http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/recipes
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html