One of our most exciting athletes
Matt Shirvington is often described as the most exciting talent to hit Australian athletics in the last 40 years. His impressive speed and agility demonstrate impressive talent and his maturity helps to keep him grounded. He is an inspirational speaker who engages any audience.
From early in his life, Matt had always excelled in sprinting. At the age of 13 he joined Little Athletics and when he began running it was clear to all that his skills were impeccable. He broke schoolboy records for both the 100m and 200m events.
In 1997, whilst racing in the South African Summer Series Grand Prix Circuit, Shirvington battled against world champions like Frankie Fredericks and was thrilled when he held his own. In February of 1998 he beat American great Dennis Mitchell in the Optus Grand Prix in Hobart.
Whilst still a teenager, Matt clocked an incredible and impressive time of 10.03 seconds whilst running the 100m sprints at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumper in 1998. His performance thrusted him into the sporting headlight, with news headlines proclaiming him as Australia’s best hop for 30 years and comparing him to sprinting legend Linford Christie.
At the age of 22, Matt competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and his performance ranked him among the world’s top 10 sprinters.
A year later at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton Canada, Shirvington made it through to the semi-finals against one of the hottest fields assembled.
One month later, he represented Australia in the Goodwill Games in Brisbane. He finished third behind Britain’s Dwayne Chambers and was only .04 of a second behind runner-up Tim Montgomery from the USA.
He has won five consecutive National Titles in the 100m and five top three finishes nationally in the 200m. In 2003 Matt suffered from glandular fever and was forced to drop out of the 2004 Olympics, but his determination and perseverance saw him come back fighting and qualify for the 2005 World Championships and compete at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
As well as being a fierce competitor, Matt has also been a presenter of Seven’s series ‘Beyond Tomorrow’ and has participated in ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
Through sheer determination, Matt Shirvington has become one of Australia most well-known athletes. He can speak to any audience about overcoming challenges and persistence.