Sport: Cycling – Track
Olympic History: London 2012 (bronze); Rio 2016
Year Born: 1991
State Born: South Australia
A 13-year-old Annette Edmondson wasn't too flattered when the South Australian Sports Institute identification program selected her for having the 'physical attributes of a cyclist'.
She viewed cycling as a recreational activity and a vehicle, not a career option, but eventually was convinced to give the sport a go. Her love and interest soon blossomed, and Edmondson's involvement in other sports came to an end as she focused solely on two wheels.
Her foray into competitive cycling started at the age of 20 at the London 2012 Olympic Games, but she wasn't the only Edmondson with an Olympic resume. Her brother Alex, dual Olympian and silver Team Pursuit medallist was also flying the flag.
Leading into London, Annette joined Melissa Hoskins and Josephine Tomic to claim Team Pursuit silver at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships. With their sights set on going one better at the Olympics, the trio qualified third in the preliminary round in London.
They were then beaten into the gold medal ride by a United States team just 0.082 seconds quicker than the Aussies, sending Edmondson and company into the bronze medal race against Canada. Further heartbreak followed as the team in green and gold were edged out of the bronze medal spot by just 0.181 seconds.
Determined to improve on her fourth place in the Team Pursuit, Edmondson backed up for the gruelling six-leg Omnium event that made its debut at the 2012 Games. The youngster's consistency saw her finish in the top four in five of the six events, and secure the bronze medal behind Great Britain's Laura Trott and Sarah Hammer of the USA.
After finishing on the world championships podium in 2013 and 2014, Edmondson made history in 2015 alongside Melissa Hoskins, Amy Cure and Ashlee Ankudinoff as the quartet won world championships gold and broke the world record. She backed this result up with gold in the Omnium to become a dual World Champion.
The following year didn't go as smoothly. A fortnight out from the 2016 World Championships, Edmondson collided with a car and was hospitalised.
Luckily, she escaped major injury, recovered and helped Australia to fifth in the Team Pursuit while securing the same result in the Omnium, but her run of bad luck was not yet over.
At her second Olympic Games in Rio 2016, a crash in training cruelled the Aussie's chances of pushing for a podium finish in the team pursuit. Edmondson lined up in all three of the team's rides in Rio as they eventually defeated Italy to claim fifth. She would go on to claim eighth in the omnium.
After Rio, Edmondson took a year out from Track Cycling to focus on Road Racing with the versatile rider acknowledging her Olympic preparation had been an intense period.
Returning to the boards in 2018, Edmondson experienced double delight at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, winning gold in the Team Pursuit and bronze in the Individual Pursuit.
At the 2019 World Championships, Edmondson teamed up with Ashlee Ankudinoff, Georgia Baker, Alexandra Manly and Amy Cure to win the Team Pursuit, but in December 2019 suffered a crash during competition, breaking her collarbone and requiring surgery.
..and that's the way the cookie (well collarbone) crumbles. From sitting 2nd with 40 laps to go in the final race of the women's Omnium, to lying in hospital at 3am with a fractured collarbone-this sport has it all. I started to step out around the rider in front of me on bell lap during a sprint in the points-race and didn't expect her to swing up. 😫 That's bike racing. Congrats @valentejennifer on the win 👏🏼 -I'm mostly just sad not to finish off the incredible work by the @australiancyclingteam. They worked so hard like the worlds' best well-oiled machine. Thank you @chudzzy @nadia.z & @jillleckey1 for all your devoted attention throughout the day, keeping me cool, fed and hydrated. Thank you @jamiestanley85 and @sianbarris for your technical and scientific knowledge and confidence. Thank you @willdickeson & Michey Winter for your perfect bike-set-ups and gear-changing record. Thank you @timdecker7 and @matthew_gilmore72 for your encouragement behind the scenes and thank you @jasebarts for being my guide throughout the entire event. I felt so prepared and wanted so badly to finish it off on a high for you. But cest la vie! Change of plans will see me heading home, leaving the team in Brisbane with likely surgery tomorrow. On to the next challenge ☺️🙏🏼 (++ big thank you to DaveHayes and @kellobrien for being great support/napping buddies, looking after me in the hospital till 4:30am 🙏🏼😩) #cestlavie #tissotucitwc #thisistrack
Edmonson made her return, and at the 2020 World Championships, the Australian team finished fifth in the Team Pursuit.
Edmondson also competed in the Madison, but the race took its toll and she and partner Cure were unable to complete the 120-lap final.
With Edmondson selected for her third Australian Olympic Team, she is solely focused on the track at her home in Adelaide, South Australia.