Mike Turtur Awarded Key to The City
As we celebrate the start of the 20th Santos Tour Down Under, the City of Adelaide has announced that it has awarded the Key to the City to South Australian cycling great Mike Turtur OAM.
The Key to the City is the highest honour Council can bestow and Mr Turtur receives the key in recognition of his Olympic and Commonwealth Games cycling career and contribution to the city as founder of the Tour.
Lord Mayor Martin Haese will present Mr Turtur with the Key to the City at a civic reception later this year.
“Mr Turtur is an Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist and, as founder of the Tour Down Under, has well and truly put Adelaide on the map in the world of professional cycling,” said Martin.
“Since the first event in 1999, the Tour Down Under has grown every year to become the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere and, as race director, Mike Turtur has been integral to this growth.”
Mr Turtur represented our state with distinction as a track cyclist, winning an Olympic gold medal in the 4000m Team Pursuit at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He competed at the Olympic Games as well as three Commonwealth Games, winning a total of five medals. Following his cycling career, Mr Turtur became the South Australian Institute of Sport Cycling Coach and has managed the Adelaide Super-Drome – headquarters for the highly successful Australian Institute of Sport’s Women's and Men's Track Cycling Program.
His contribution to the world-recognised Tour Down Under over the last 20 years has seen Adelaide and South Australia become the centre of the cycling world for two weeks in January.
The biggest cycling event outside of Europe, last year’s event injected $56.5 million into the state’s visitor economy and created hundreds of jobs. The race also attracted a record number of spectators with around 840,000 fans lining the streets, with thousands of fans making the journey from interstate and overseas.
The Lord Mayor said that in awarding its highest honour, Council recognised Mr Turtur’s significant career achievements, as well as his direct contribution to the City of Adelaide through the positive impact of the Tour Down Under.
Councillor Natasha Malani said the Key to the City was awarded to individuals and groups who had achieved excellence in their field of endeavour or had made a significant contribution to the City of Adelaide.
“It is truly a rare honour to be awarded the Key to the City and there is no doubt that Mike Turtur is fully deserving of such an honour,” said Natasha.
“We congratulate Mike Turtur on receiving the highest honour Council can bestow and know that the 20th Tour Down Under will be the biggest and best yet under his strong leadership.”
Image credit: Cycling News
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