Sport | Athletics, Media, Motivational
After leading a team of 427 athletes with the Australian flag in front of a billion people at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony Jane went on to win gold in the 20km walk becoming only the second Australian ever to win three consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medals in the same event! Jane won the 20km race walk at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Jane’s international athletic career has spanned eighteen years and includes Olympic bronze, three consecutive Commonwealth Games gold, world junior silver, and representation of Australia at World, World Cups and in 2000 breaking legendary Kerry Saxby-Junna’s long-standing 20km Australian record. Jane recorded the fastest time ever by an Australian woman in international competition in 2003, clocked a new Australian Record in 2005 and in June 2006 claimed her tenth national title!
Jane’s radiant smile lit up the nation as she won an Olympic bronze medal at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. She released tears of joy during the medal ceremony following four long but brave years since Sydney. Jane was ranked the number one female race walker in the world by the IAAF in 2004 and received the 2004 NSWIS Outstanding Achievement Award.
At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, millions of people around the world watched as Jane powered towards the Olympic Stadium in the gold medal position of the women’s 20km walk. However, in a cruel twist of fate, the cheers of the 80,000 strong crowd and those watching from home turned to silence and disbelief as Jane, a mere 150m from a certain gold medal, was disqualified.
Jane won international praise for her outstanding sportsmanship. Sports Illustrated rated Jane’s sportsmanship in their Top Ten Olympic Moments, stating that “Saville refused to belittle the officials or any of the women who stood on the podium when she was unable to do so. For that she should walk tall”. Further recognition gained by Jane includes the Victorian AOC Spirit of the Olympics Award, selection as a finalist in the Australian Hall of Fame “The Don” Award for the Athlete who most inspired the nation and the 2002 Athletics Australia Awards Night.
After finishing third overall on the 2006 Race Walking Challenge, Jane competed at the 2007 World Championships in Japan before becoming one of only six Australian track and field athletes to compete in four Olympic Games when she contested the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As a result of her achievements and her inspirational, passionate and gracious personality, Jane has become an ambassador for life. Now retired, Jane is an expert on walking for fun and fitness and motivational tips for people of all standards and ages.
Beijing Olympic Games
20th 20km Walk
Ten National Titles
10km & 20km Walk
IAAF Race Walking Challenge
Melbourne Commonwealth Games
IAAF World’s No.1 Female Race Walker
Athens Olympic Games
Bronze 20km (team captain)
4th Race Walking Challenge, Germany (AR)
11th World Championships
20km (team captain)
8th overall at the World Race Walking Challenge
Australian Walker of the Year Award
Manchester Commonwealth Games
World Championship team, Edmonton
2nd International Grand Prix, Germany & Mexico
Australian Olympic team
Australian Female Walker of the Year Award
Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games
Gold 10km (Commonwealth Games record)
“Our session on Friday was very successful and Jane exceeded our expectations.
She stayed on until approx. 4pm when the last of us left the venue.
I would highly recommend her and would be happy to provide feedback to anybody considering using her for their function.”
Speaker – IT Telstra Function, 23rd November 2007
30-40 pax – Telstra IT people
“Thanks so much for all your input for last week's dinner. Everyone was very impressed by Jane and her presentation. The principal gave us a big wrap- she was especially impressed with Jane's education / elite sportswoman combo - great role model for our students!!!!”
Speaker – Annual Sports Awards Dinner 15th November 2006
400 pax – students, parents, teachers, coaches etc.
“Everyone thoroughly enjoyed hearing you speak of not only your goals, but also your career disappointments, and most importantly, how you overcome your disappointments. I even had a few staff members come up and say that you have motivated them to even start doing a bit of exercise! How good is that? So, thank you again Jane, we loved having you as part of our team meeting.”
CFO Update Meeting, MBF, 18th October 2006
“Jane is a very engaging person with a very relevant story to communicate. Her presentation was very valuable and enjoyable. Jane received an “Excellent” rating on her performance.”
Commonwealth Bank, Executive Managers Speakers Forum, June 2006
“Jane was great. Her story was moving and the audience loved her.”
Publicist Drum: Sanofi Aventis Breakfast Function, January 2006
“Jane presented to over 160 guests at our annual fund raising dinner. The feedback from the dinner audience was excellent and her story was both relevant and inspiring. Jane is an elite athlete who is also a wonderful person and role model - we'll all be cheering loudly for her on and off the track!”
Board Member: Streetwork Fundraising Dinner, December 2005
“Just wanted to let you know we had a fantastic day on Sunday - certainly having Jane there for MBF was a drawcard, and what a beautiful person she is - nothing was a trouble to her - she smiled all day.”
MBF Centre Member: MBF Dubbo Zoo Fun Run/Walk, August 2005
“We all enjoyed your very entertaining interview, giving us an insight into your exciting and successful sporting career. This was a personal interview and I thank you for sharing so much with us, making the moment, so interesting and witty.
I had many guests speak to me at the event about what a wonderful choice of speaker you were and have also taken quite a few calls congratulating us on the event. Thank you once again for taking the time out of your busy schedule and for sharing your career highlights and lowlights and especially staying back to talk to my guests and seeing the event through to the finish.”
Sales Co-ordinator: Cocktail Function, February 2004
“We appreciate the work and preparation that you put into your presentation. Your sharing of the personal experience of family and involvement with both your outstanding careers captured so well the theme of our conference. There was a positive feedback from conference participants and comments include ‘The Saville sisters were fantastic’. The ceremony heralded the start of what was a most successful conference.”
Executive Director: Family Services Australia, November 2004
“Very genuine; struck a good empathy with audience. I was very impressed with her performance – sincere, well spoken and intelligent young woman, she is an asset to the Bank. Interesting to see how she dealt with a major disappointment in such a public situation with such sensitivity and diplomacy. Jane is an excellent achiever, and very good spirit. It was good having someone who is also developing a career in financial services.”
Senior Manager + Staff: Commonwealth Bank
“Simply very original and a great role model for young Australians when it comes to determination.”
Executive Manager: Commonwealth Bank
“A very enthusiastic speaker. Her story flows well and therefore you ride the rollercoaster with her in the lead-up to the Olympics. You are left with a greater appreciation of the sheer hard work and commitment that carries with being an Olympian.”
Senior Manager: Commonwealth Bank
“Jane is just fabulous and very down to earth. She doesn’t hesitate going up to people who are drinking Coke, plain water or Gatorade and giving them Water+ and a run down of the benefits.”
Communications Manager: Sanitarium, December 2001
“Jane Saville is a great ambassador for New Balance. She was really outstanding at the Sydney Final Whistle last week – charming, bright, interesting”.
Chief Executive Officer: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Nov 2001