Matthew Glaetzer | Australian Olympic Committee

Matthew's Story

Fast Facts

Sport: Cycling – Track 
Event: Sprint
Olympic History: London 2012; Rio 2016  
Year Born: 1992 
State Born: South Australia   

About Matthew

A leg injury prompted Matthew Glaetzer to start cycling and its cycling that has become a driving force in his cancer recovery.

Starting out in athletics, the aspiring pole vaulter won a silver medal at the national championships at the age of 14. Plagued by injury due to growth spurts, Glaetzer was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease and the active teen was forced to find a new sport of choice and at 16, he turned to triathlon.

Glaetzer found that he excelled at the bike leg and decided to join a cycling club. A short six months later he won a silver medal at the National Championships and the following year he represented Australia at the UCI Junior Track World Championships and won two world titles.   

As an elite competitor, the South Australian claimed a stunning victory at the 2012 World Championships alongside Scott Sunderland and Shane Perkins in the Team Sprint as they knocked off the French by one-thousandth of a second. 

Making his Olympic debut at the London 2012 Games, Glaetzer and teammates Sunderland and Perkins qualified third fastest (43.377 seconds) in the Team Sprint.

They then defeated China in the first round with their time of 43.261 seconds ranking them fourth and setting up a bronze medal showdown with Germany.

The Aussies kept pace with the German team for most of the race but eventually went down by 0.146 seconds. They finished the competition in a time of 43.355 seconds. 

Glaetzer added Commonwealth Games gold (Keirin) and bronze (Team Sprint) to his growing list of achievements in 2014 as he steadily built towards another Olympic campaign.

At the 2016 World Championships, he qualified fastest in the Sprint before moving through the field and eventually claimed silver behind Great Britain’s Jason Kenny.  

Competing in his second Games at Rio 2016, Glaetzer came ever so close to standing on the podium. He lost out to British rider Callum Skinner in his Sprint semi-final by 0.057 seconds before going down to Russia’s Denis Dmitriev by 0.044 seconds for bronze.

Along with Pat Constable and Nathan Hart, Glaetzer finished fourth in the Team Sprint by 0.155 seconds and claimed 10th in the Keirin.  

At the 2018 World Championships, Glaetzer claimed a memorable maiden individual world title victory in the Sprint and claimed silver in the Time Trial, and at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, he won gold in the Kierin and Kilo Time Trial and bronze in the Team Sprint.  

Diagnosed with thyroid cancer in late 2019, Glaetzer faced the biggest challenge of his life as he prepared for a third Olympic campaign.

He underwent surgery and returned to competition in December 2019 before continuing with treatment. An unrelated leg injury ruled him out of the 2020 World Championships, but his setbacks have only motivated Glaetzer to charge on and he is determined to be fitter and stronger for Tokyo 2020.  

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