Launceston to recognise our golden girl Ariarne Titmus

Published on 30 August 2021

Launceston Aquatic.jpg

Launceston golden girl Ariarne Titmus will be honoured with the Key to the City next month.

 Titmus, who won two gold medals in the pool at the recent Tokyo Olympics, will be presented with the Key to the City by Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten on September 17 at a ceremony in Civic Square starting at 12 noon.

 Councillors unanimously supported a motion to present the City's highest honour to Titmus, along with renaming the 50m competition pool at the Launceston Leisure and Aquatic Centre.

 The Council will also establish an annual Ariarne Titmus Swimming Scholarship at the Aquatic Centre for up-and-coming young swimmers.

 City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten described Titmus's achievements in Tokyo as outstanding, and said it was appropriate that the Council recognise what the 20-year-old former Launceston swimmer had achieved on the world stage.

 "It's amazing to think that Ariarne has had such an impact in such a short time - she's such an inspiration and role model for young athletes and young women everywhere and the Council is so proud of what she has achieved," Mayor van Zetten said.

 Only five people have ever been bestowed the honour of the key to the City in Launceston - former Test captain Ricky Ponting, boxer Daniel Geale, cyclist Richie Porte, composer Peter Sculthorpe and round-the-world yachtsman, Ken Gourlay.

 Titmus will be the first woman and the youngest person to be presented with the key.

 "It's fitting that Ariarne's name will be associated with the same 50m pool she spent so many hours training in as a teenager in her early years as a competitive swimmer at the Aquatic Centre," Mayor van Zetten said.

 "The Council hopes that by renaming this pool, it will serve as an inspiration to Launceston's current and future generation of Olympic hopefuls.

 "The only downside is that given the short timeframes we have to work within regarding Ariarne's availability, we won't be in a position to officially rename the pool in time for this visit.

 "But I would hope that once that work has taken place, we will be able to bring Ariarne back down from Queensland for a more appropriate ceremony at the Aquatic Centre."

 Apart from her medal haul in Tokyo, Titmus also won three gold medals and a silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

 The same year, she set a world record in the women's short-course 400m freestyle event at the FINA World Championships in China.

 She went on to represent Australia at the 2019 World Championships in South Korea, winning gold in the women's 400m freestyle, gold in the 4x200m relay, silver in the 200m freestyle and bronze in the 800m.

 Despite her age, Mayor van Zetten said Titmus had already established herself as the best female swimmer in the world over the 200 and 400m distance.

 "To be the best, you have to beat the best and Ariarne has certainly done that over a number of major events now. She's a wonderful ambassador for the sport, a tremendous ambassador for her home city and a true role-model for young athletes all over Australia," Mayor van Zetten said.

 "I would encourage as many Northern Tasmanians to join us on September 17 in Civic Square and celebrate this inspiring young woman and all that she has achieved so far."

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