2020 Australia Day Ambassador Announced

2020 Australia Day Ambassador Announced

Posted on: 06.01.2020

Lindy Hou OAM: Paralympic Gold Medallist and World Champion, has been announced as Wollondilly’s Australia Day ambassador for 2020.

Mayor Matthew Deeth said, “We welcome Lindy Hou as our Wollondilly Australia Day ambassador for 2020.”

“Lindy’s experience is truly inspirational and I look forward to hearing her speak at this year’s Australia Day celebrations.”

Lindy suffers from a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. She began losing her sight in the mid-1980s and is now, almost totally blind. Twenty-five years ago as her sight began failing, Lindy was forced to give up playing ball sports and decided that as an alternative, she would participate in the sport of triathlon, which she did for many years. During the early 1990s, despite her failing eyesight, Lindy represented Australia twice in the World Triathlon Championships as an able-bodied athlete for her age group.

As a small child Lindy dreamed of standing on the Olympic podium with a Gold medal around her neck. In 2004 at the Athens Paralympic Games that dream became a reality when she won a gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

For many people, losing their sight often means the end of being involved; not so for Lindy. In 1999 she rediscovered the joy of cycling; this time on a tandem bike. When Lindy very narrowly missed selection for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Team the disappointment made her determined to be a member of the Australian team for the 2004 Games in Athens.

The Athens Paralympic Games were a triumph for Lindy. Not only did she make the team with pilots Janelle Lindsay and Toireasa Gallagher, but she and Janelle had the honour of being the first Australian females to win Gold at the Athens Paralympic Games. She came home with a total of four medals. During the Games, Lindy and Janelle set the World Women’s 200m Fly record of 11.675 seconds.

Exactly one year later, on the 19th September 2005, when Lindy and her pilot Toireasa Gallagher set the One Hour World Women’s Tandem record of 42.93km at the Sydney Dunc Gray Velodrome, Lindy held the shortest and the longest world records recognised by the Union of Cycling International (UCI), the governing body for world cycling!

Since Lindy’s retirement from Paralympic Cycling, she has continued to keep fit through cycling and running. In the last five years she has completed many charity bike rides including a ride from Cairns to Melbourne. She finished the Melbourne marathon. She also competed in many triathlons, and represented Australia at the World Paratriathlon Championships in London.

Prior to losing her sight Lindy worked for fifteen years in the Information Technology industry and for the last twelve years of her professional career worked as a consultant to many major corporations dealing with their accounting systems.  Lindy gained extensive and valuable knowledge of the corporate environment and became very familiar with the type of stress and challenges professional workers and managers deal with.

Lindy’s life journey, both challenging and rewarding, has made her the person she is today. Lindy is now able to share her journey with others to empower them to achieve their own personal best.

Wollondilly’s Australia Day celebrations will be on from 8am-12pm on 26 January 2020 in the Picton Botanical Gardens, with plenty of free activities including a BBQ breakfast and lunch.