Triathlon Australia has today announced Carmel Hickey, alongside her sons Rohan and Alistair, as the Australian flag bearers for the Parade of Nations at the upcoming 2023 World Triathlon Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Pontevedra.
Carmen says being chosen as the Australian flag bearers is a source of immense pride and humility for her family.
“We were enormously humbled to be chosen to lead the team this year in the Parade of Nations,” Carmel said.
“We know there are many amazing athletes in Team Australia, and we will be so proud to be there amongst them all."
Carmel was the first in the family to become involved in triathlon, competing at local races in South East Queesland and Mackay in her youth.
However, it was in 2010 when the triathlon spark truly ignited within the Hickey clan.
Carmel and eldest son Rohan embarked on their triathlon journey together when Rohan was just eight-years-old, competing in a Cairns Crocs triathlon at Tinaroo.
Rohan was instantly hooked. And it didn't take his younger brother Alistair long to naturally progress from supporting on the sidelines, to competition too.
“Our kids grew up not questioning being woken up and put in the car at 4:30am to drive from the Atherton Tablelands to triathlons 90 minutes away in Cairns, or further afield,” Carmel said.
“Triathlon has been a way of life for our kids and they have thrived from the community and the sport.”
Carmel has competed on the Australian Age Group triathlon team twice before in London in 2013, and Gold Coast in 2018, Rohan has competed for Team Australia on the Gold Coast in 2018, alongside his mother.
For Alistair, the 2023 World Triathlon Age Group Super Sprint Triathlon World Championships marks his debut on the Australian team.
He’ll compete in the Super Sprint Triathlon, while Carmel and Rohan take on the Standard Distance Triathlon.
“It is so exciting to be able to compete together with Rohan and Alistair this year at the World Championships at Pontevedra,” Carmel said.
“We enjoyed competing together at the Townsville Triathlon Festival recently when Rohan flew up from Brisbane and Alistair and I drove down from Malanda.”
As for other families considering triathlon as a shared pursuit, Carmel's message is clear.
"Do it! Training and competing together in triathlon is a great joy. Anxiety provoking at times for sure when your kids are racing, but so rewarding.”
The 2023 World Triathlon Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Pontevedra take place between the 20th and 24th of September, with 88 talented Team Australia members ready showcase their skills in the Standard Distance Triathlon, Standard Distance Aquabike, and Super Sprint Triathlon events.
2023 World Triathlon Age-Group Super Sprint Distance Championships
Saturday 23 September - 12:00AM AEDT
2023 World Triathlon Age-Group Standard Distance Triathlon Championships
Sunday 24 September - 4:30PM AEDT
2023 World Triathlon Age Groups Standard Distance Aquabike Championships
Sunday 24 September - 6:30PM AEDT