Name: Melinda Vernon
Sport: Triathlon (previously distance running)
Hometown: Springwood, NSW
Occupation: Full-time Athlete (previously worked as an Occupational Therapist)
Current Sponsors: Cochlear Pty Ltd and Saucony Australia
Motto: "Never say die!" - Energizer Battery
Short term -
To achieve selection into ITU (International Triathlon Union) World Series triathlon races in 2014
Long term -
To achieve selection for 2016 Rio Olympic Games for triathlon, being the first deaf triathlete to make the Olympics
Won Australia's largest fun run, Sydney's City2Surf in 2009
Represented Australia at the 2009 Summer Deaflympic Games in Taipei, winning the 5000m/ 10,000m double, breaking the Deaf World Record and Games Record respectively
Achieved a Deaf World Record in the 10,000m at the 2009 Australian 10,000m Championships, in Melbourne
Represented Australia on numerous occasions for distance running between 2008 and 2010, including: Deaflympic Games (2009 & 2013), World Cross Country (XC) Championships (2008 & 2009), World Uni XC Champs (2008 & 2010), World Half Marathon Champs 2010, and International Chiba Ekiden Relays, Japan 2008.
Started professional triathlon in 2013, and achieved 5th placing at ITU Oceania Cup Champs, Mooloolaba, QLD (March 2013)
About me: I enjoy inspiring others including deaf people and those with adversities to overcome barriers to achieve their dreams, pinpointing that extra focus and hard work is what can get us over that line into the field of choice, along with a supportive network and environment that understands our needs to ensure an even and fair approach in our chosen fields.