Ironman Nathan Smith Inducted Into Hall Of Champions
Multiple former World and Australian Champion Ironman, Nathan Smith, has been honoured with entry into the NSW Hall of Champions.
The award was presented by the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Graham Annesley, in the Hall of Champions at Sydney Olympic Park.
At just 32 years of age, Nathan, who has been a member of Cronulla SLSC for 19 years joins the likes of Dawn Fraser, Sir Don Bradman and Evonne Goolagong as NSW sportsmen and women who have been elevated to the realm of national heroes.
As winner of six NSW Open Ironman Titles (five consecutively),his achievements when representing his club, state and country in the sport of Surf Life Saving have been remarkable and his list of victories impressive.
As the sole NSW representative in the Australian team at the 2004 World Champs in Italy, Nathan collected a huge haul of medals including three gold and a silver significantly helping Australia win the World Championships that year.
At the 2005 World Games in Germany he won three gold medals in the Open Men’s Surf Race, Board Race and Board Rescue as well as a silver medal in the Open Men’s Ironman. He also took home five gold, two silver and a bronze medal at the World Champs in Lorne in 2006.
Nathan thanked Surf Life Saving NSW for their support as well as Steve Warren (his father in law who is also a Hall of Champions inductee) who helped coach him over the years, along with wife Shannon and his parents.
"They have all helped me to believe in my ability and to approach competition with perseverance, patience and hard work,” said Nathan.
Nathan’s distinguished level of sportsmanship is also shown through his elite performances on the national level earning inclusion in the Australian Representative Surf Life Saving Team for seven years from 2003 until 2009 as well as winning a number of national gold (4), silver (9) and bronze (1) medals.
Arguably the greatest moment of Nathan’s career was winning the Open Ironman Race at the 2005 Australian Championships just after his sister Kristyl, won the corresponding Ironwoman event becoming the only brother/sister pairing to achieve such a feat to this day.
“Aussies 2005 was for me the major highlight, after watching Kristyl win the Open Ironwoman then going on to take out the Ironman was just the best. That’s the beauty of surf, I love the challenge, love what the surf can bring. Being selected in 2004 to the Australian team for the first time was also a highlight. Being one of the younger guys in the squad and going to Germany was just a dream come true,” said Nathan.
He also finished second in one of the most gruelling events in Surf Lifesaving at the 2006 Coolangatta Gold and third in 2008.
Not content with resting on his laurels Nathan is now considering a comeback to the sport he started nearly 20 years ago.
“Yeah I’m considering a comeback so the goal at the moment is to have a crack at the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Series trials and see how it goes,” he said.
Nathan is now the 15th athlete from Surf Life Saving to be inducted into the NSW Hall of Champions.
Thu 25 Jul 2013