Queensland’s Des Johnston is honoured to have been selected to read the official oath at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony at Carrara Stadium tonight Wednesday 4 April.
“I'm totally overwhelmed actually. It’s not the type of news you get every day,” said Johnston who will be a Track Umpire at the Games.
“I am humbled and honoured to represent all the people who are officials in athletics and all sports throughout the country. It’s a tremendous privilege although it is a little bit daunting.”
Des has been a National Technical Official since 1993 and has officiated at almost every championship since. Des was a Track Umpire at the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games and was the Assistant Chief Track Umpire at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Johnston said that if officials do their job right then the athletes are the ones that get to shine.
“We’re there to make sure athletes are able to be complete to the true ability and within the rules. We want to make sure they are the ones who are acknowledged and I guess for us as officials in a way to be invisible.”
“Hopefully my job at the Games will be more about observing and less about reporting anyone.”
Athletics Australia President Mark Arbib praised Johnston and his contribution to athletics saying "It's so well deserved. Des exemplifies the finest traits of all our wonderful athletics officials."
"Des is a selfless servant of our sport and we are extremely proud to see him honoured."
The Oath forms a key part of the protocols associated with the official opening of the Commonwealth Games and reflect's the Commonwealth Games Federation’s principles of Humanity, Equality and Destiny.
Taking the oath on behalf of the athletes will be four-time Australian Commonwealth Games lawn bowls medallist Karen Murphy.
Taking the oath on behalf of the coaches will be long time Australian netball coach Lisa Alexander. Who led Australia to gold at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.