Donning the green and gold of the Australian Age Group Team has become second nature for Michael Dixon.
The 61-year-old is gearing up for an incredible sixth World Triathlon Multisport World Championships in Ibiza this weekend, but he’ll have more to focus on than just racing this time around.
Dixon will have the added duty of Australian team as flag-bearer for the Parade of Nations, something he describes as an honour and privilege.
“Being selected to represent your country in any sport is one thing, but to then be nominated as flag-bearer supersedes all expectations,” he said.
“Representing Australia as flag-bearer signifies to me great national pride - in our values, our culture, our ‘laid back’ lifestyle and our ability to achieve great things competitively.
“We are a nation of sportspeople who exceed all expectations in a multitude of sports - with triathlon and multisport being no exception. Competing in Ibiza will be exciting and exhilarating but being selected to carry the flag will definitely be a proud moment, truly memorable.”
Ibiza will be the epicentre of Multisport from the 29th of April to the 7th of May, welcoming the world’s best multisport athletes at Elite, Para and Age-Group levels.
With a record number of nationalities signed up, the event is set to be a blockbuster occasion and another feast of competition across a host of different formats and combinations of swim, bike and run endurance.
The Australian team of 79 age group athletes will take to the state line across six events, battling athletes from 59 other nations for World Championship honours.
Dixon will compete in the sprint distance duathlon, aquathlon and aquabike events at the in Ibiza, and is eager to improve on his 5th place finish at the 2018 Fyn Aquabike World Championships.
“There is absolutely no room for pre-empting any result in this sport at this level - I’d be content with any improvement over previous results, especially in the aquathlon and aquabike events,” he said.
“Donning the green and gold is truly remarkable within itself. Every Australian triathlete on this team should be extremely proud of their achievement - competing for one’s country demonstrates exceptional talent and performance.
“It would be wonderful to see some of our triathletes either finish in the top 10 in their age group, stand proud on the podium itself, or be crowned World Champion! “
Dixon went on to describe the immense satisfaction and long-lasting memories that come with competing for Australia at a World Championship event.
“If you achieve your personal best result at a triathlon World Championship event you are by and far already a winner,” he said.
“Sprinting down the final straight towards the finish line, there can be no more satisfying feeling than grabbing an Aussie flag, raising both hands in the air and screaming an almighty “whoa” as you cross the finishing line, breathless and exhausted.
“There will be countless anecdotal tales to share with your friends and international competitors afterwards. The memories are forever lasting, and your achievement will inspire your friends and family for generations to come.
“It is going to be an absolutely tremendous 10-days of racing. I'm sure all Australians will depart with fond memories of their time in Ibiza.”