Who is Central Queensland's greatest athlete?
TIME and time again, Central Queensland has proven that when it comes to athletes, the region produces some of the best.
Ranging from Olympians, to rugby legends, world record breakers and Grand Slam champions, CQ's undeniable talent has made waves across multiple sports in the country.
Last month, The Courier-Mail, The Sunday Mail and News Regional compiled a definitive and provocative list ranking Queensland's greatest 100 athletes.
Although a Rocky man, Rod Laver, was named the state's greatest athlete, we want to know what you think.
In no particular order, The Morning Bulletin has compiled a list of some of Central Queensland's top 20 athletes.
You have a chance to vote for who you think deserves top placing in the poll at the end of this story.
If your favourite is not on this list, you can put them in the running by voting for them in the comments section.
Voting closes Tuesday, December 18.
Here are your contenders.
Won 200 Singles titles and the only player ever to twice win the Grand Slam.
Born to Rockhampton cattle farmers, Laver is the only player to twice achieve a Grand Slam, in 1962 and 1969, winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US titles all in the same year.
Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time despite being smaller than most of his opponents at 173cm "The Rocket'' was the world's dominant player throughout the 1960s.
Mastering all surfaces, he won three Australian titles, two French, four Wimbledon and two US titles and had a hand in five Davis Cup victories for Australia .
His 200 singles titles are the most in tennis history.
He would undoubtedly have won more major tournaments if he had not been banned from playing Grand Slam events for five years after turning professional following the Davis Cup in December 1962.
He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981, and declared a Legend of Australian Sport in 2002. In 2000, Centre Court at the National Tennis Centre in Melbourne was renamed Rod Laver Arena.
World No. 1, won 2015 PGA Championship.
His first swing of a golf club was with one his dad had found on a tip.
Day was born in Beaudesert, the son of a Alvin Day, a meatworker who enrolled him at the Beaudesert Golf Club as a junior member just after his sixth birthday.
Alvin died of stomach cancer when Jason was 12 and Jason's mother Dening sent him to the Kooralbyn International School, which had a golf course attached.
He studied a book about Tiger Woods and won the Australian Boys' Amateur title in 2004.He turned professional in July 2006 and made the cut in five of his first six PGA Tour events.
At the 2011 Masters, Day was tied for the lead on a number of occasions in the final round but although he birdied the last two holes, he came up two strokes short.
His 12-under, though, was the lowest score by a Masters debutant.
He was runner-up again at the US Open that same year and again in 2013.
At Whistling Straits, Wisconsin he won the 2015 PGA Championship, becoming the first player in history to finish at 20-under-par in a major.
He was soon ranked world No. 1.
2 Olympic gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze, 11 world championships
Winning two Olympic gold medals in separate Olympic Games is a great feat. To win them eight years apart (2004, 2012) is quite another.
In between those golden victories, Meares broke her neck (January 2008) in a velodrome crash in Los Angeles, yet still took Olympic silver in Beijing seven months later.
A coal miner's daughter, she was born in Blackwater and was inspired by the cycling feats of 1994 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kathy Watt to take up the sport aged 11, even though her home at Middlemount was two hours from the nearest cycling track at Mackay.
At Athens in 2004 she set a world record in the women's 500m time trial and won gold and bronze.
At the World Cup in January 2008 she crashed at 65km/h and suffered a fractured C2 vertebra, a dislocated right shoulder, torn ligaments and tendons, a heavily bruised right hip and skin abrasions.
But she was back on her bike 10 days later to qualify for Beijing. Meares was the Australian flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Anna Meares Velodrome at Chandler hosted the track cycling at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Olympic gold, Commonwealth Games Gold, 2 World Cups, 5 gold medals at the Champions Trophy
The Australian flag bearer for the 2018 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, Knowles was honoured by being named the Young Player of the Year in 2007 by the International Hockey Federation.
He was also named the 2014 World Player of the Year following on from his performances at the 2014 Hockey World Cup.
A four-time Olympian, he was the Kookaburras captain from 2014 until retiring this year.
Knowles made his international debut in 2004 and at 20 became the youngest in the team to win Olympic gold when Australia defeated the Netherlands at Athens to claim their first ever Olympic title.
He was part of the 2010 and 2014 World Cup winning sides and has three Commonwealth Games gold medals.
Knowles is originally from Rockhampton and is the brother-in-law of Australian team mate, Jamie Dwyer. He played for the Queensland Blades in the Australian Hockey League and in the Netherlands for HC Rotterdam.
Olympic gold, 2 Commonwealth Games gold, 6 gold medals at the Champions Trophy.
In 15 years playing as an international, Dwyer made 326 appearances for Australia, scoring 215 goals.
The midfielder/striker won Olympic gold in 2004 and took bronze in Beijing and London. Born in Rockhampton he played for the junior national team from the age of 17 and began playing for the Queensland Blades while still a teenager.
In 2002, he won a silver medal at the World Cup and gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Going into the 2004 Athens Olympics, he was recovering from a knee injury but scored an extra time goal in the final against the Netherlands.
Australia won 2-1 and Dwyer came away being recognised as the best player in the world.
Over the next eight years Australia won the Champions Trophy six times.
At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, he was part of the bronze medal winning team after he was carried off the pitch with a hip injury in the middle of the game against Canada that Australia won 6-1.
A bronze medal followed in London in 2012.
Dwyer's brother-in-law Mark Knowles and cousin Matthew Gohdes both represented Australia alongside him during his career.
Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, 2 Cox Plates, 3 Golden Slippers.
Born in Rockhampton in 1952, his riding career spanned more than 30 years and he rode more than 1700 winners, including 88 in Group 1 races.
He had a long partnership with trainer Tommy Smith that resulted in three Sydney Jockey Premierships.
Dittman was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2002.
Some of his achievements include the 1982 Melbourne Cup on Gurner's Lane, three Golden Slippers aboard Full On Aces (1981), Bounding Away (1986) and Bint Marscay (1993), two Cox Plates with Strawberry Road (1983) and Red Anchor (1984) and a Caulfield Cup with Sydeston in 1990.
Dittman first raced on the Gold Coast, and landed a double at Murwillumbah as a 16-year-old.
His first big win came in the 1968 Gold Coast Newmarket (known now as the Goldmarket) aboard Red Shah and he then won the 1969 Ipswich Cup aboard Makata.
He won his first Group 1 race, The Doomben Cup, riding Knee High to victory in 1972 and at Eagle Farm in November 1976, scored six wins and a second in a seven-event program.
Gurner's Lane famously beat the highly fancied Kingston Town for the Melbourne Cup.
Olympic gold and silver
Born in Rockhampton, Armstrong started swimming at the age of five.
His family moved to Brisbane where he flourished under the guidance of coach Laurie Lawrence and his star swimmer at the time, 1984 Olympic gold medallist Jon Sieben.
Armstrong was determined to emulate Sieben's Olympic feat and he became captain of the Brisbane State High School swimming team.
He made his international debut at 18 at the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games, winning his first gold medal, for the 400m freestyle, in dramatic fashion by surging from behind, after he trailed by nearly 25m at the midway point of the race.
Armstrong ranked 46th in the world when he arrived at Seoul for the 1988 Olympics and in the 200m freestyle was up against a mighty trio of Matt Biondi Artur Wojdat of Poland, and Michael Gross of West Germany. At 150 metres, Armstrong was in third place, but he surged home in the final 25 metres to claim gold with a new world record.
Laurie Lawrence grabbed a television reporter in a headlock and bellowed: "Mate, whadda ya think we came here for, silver? Stuff the silver, we came for the gold.''
24 games for Queensland, 22 Tests
One of Australia's greatest post-war front-rowers, Hall was an Australian powerhouse immediately following World War II and toured twice with the Kangaroos.
He played in two Ashes-winning series for Australia. From 1945-47 he played for the Christian Brothers at Rockhampton.
Hall had accepted a playing position at Alpha in Central Queensland in the mid-1940s, but a railway strike meant he was unable to take up the position, and instead he moved to Brisbane, where he linked with the Valleys club.
From there he made a meteoric rise to representative football, first with Brisbane, then Queensland and in little more than three months he was selected in Australia's Test side to play New Zealand.
Hall became a mainstay of Australian teams for the next seven years, contributing mightily to Australia's Ashes triumphs in 1950 and 1954.
He played his entire domestic career in Queensland, moving from Valleys back to his home town of Home Hill in 1950, before stints in Toowoomba and with Brisbane Wests.
A knee injury cost him the opportunity of a third Kangaroo tour in 1956 when he was 31.
Olympic bronze, 3 Commonwealth Games bronze
Australia's greatest sprinter was born in Rockhampton and in 1952 began a seven-year domination of the Australian athletics championships.
Known as "Hustling Hec" for his lightning starts, the stocky, prematurely balding flyer hit his straps on a grass track in Sydney on March 13, 1954.
On that one day he equalled two world records - 9.3 sec for the 100 yards and 10.2 sec for the 100m set by the great Jesse Owens 18 years before.
Even though he was suffering tiredness, Hogan won both his 100m heats at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and a crowd of 100,000 at the MCG saw him line up on the start line for the final in running shorts made from bridal satin and sewn by his mother-in-law.
Hogan surged near the end of the race before American Bobby Morrow leapt forward to win by more than a metre.
Hogan took bronze.
Although he won a relay bronze at the 1958 Cardiff Empire Games, lethargy had set in.
Hogan died just two years later from leukaemia aged 29.
Moore made 129 appearances for Australia, including as captain.
He has the second most Test appearances for Australia behind George Gregan and is the only Australian hooker to have played 100 Tests.
Moore is also the most capped Australian Super Rugby player of all time, and is one of only two players in Australian Rugby history, along with Nathan Sharpe to have achieved 100 Test and 150 Super Rugby appearances.
Born in Rockhampton, the champion centre/five-eighth played his club football in Rockhampton and Toowoomba.
Connell wore the maroon jumper 25 times between 1952 and 1957.
He reached the pinnacle as a player when selected for Australia against New Zealand in 1956.
He toured with the 1956-57 Kangaroos.
While Connell failed to play a Test match against Great Britain, he played in 14 tour matches in England and France, captaining the Australian team many times.
He was also a recruitment scout for the Brisbane Broncos for several years.
Tucker won the first of five consecutive senior Australian sprint titles in 1978.
He was the first person from Rockhampton to win a Commonwealth Games medal, bringing home gold (sprint) and silver (time trial) from the 1978 Edmonton Games.
Tucker's crowning glory came at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane when he defied a glandular fever to successfully defend his Commonwealth sprint title.
119 Tests, 366 Test catches, 29 stumpings, 4 centuries
By the time of his retirement in 1999, Healy held the world record for most Test dismissals by a wicket-keeper and left a lasting legacy with his work ethic and combative approach to the game.
Despite breaking all of his fingers during his 13-year first-class career behind the stumps he only ever missed one Test match.
Born in Brisbane, Healy's sporting talent took off aged eight after his family moved 600km north in 1972 to the mining town of Biloela, where Healy's father was a bank manager.
Playing against adults while still a youngster improved Healy's cricket and back in the big city he played for the Brisbane State High School team and then joined the Northern Suburbs club in Brisbane's grade competition in 1982.
He made his Queensland debut in 1986-87 and after just six State games was chosen for the Australian team to tour Pakistan in late 1988.
He took time to fit in but was part of the 4-0 Ashes triumph in England in 1989 and hit this maiden Test century on the subsequent tour four years later, dominating a partnership with Steve Waugh.
He also had three more Test hundreds.
Over his 275-game career Sing played for the Panthers, Roosters and the Cowboys.
He played in the 2000 grand final for the Roosters and the 2005 grand final for the Cowboys but lost both.
Sing was a part of the 1995 3-0 whitewash of NSW and went on to play 24 Origins and 15 Tests for Australia.
Griffin played in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership for Brothers from 1985 to 1987 largely as a hooker. He then played for Brothers in Rockhampton from 1988 to 1992.
Griffin coached the colts teams for Redcliffe (1995-97), winning the premiership in 1997.
The following year he moved to Brisbane Norths, taking them to the colts premiership in his first year there, and also coaching the Queensland under 17s representative team in 1998.
After another Colts premiership with Norths in 2000, Griffin joined the coaching staff of the NRL's Melbourne Storm and was Chris Anderson's then Mark Murray's assistant in 2001 and 2002.
Returning to Queensland, he coached the Souths Logan Magpies in the Queensland Cup from 2003 to 2004.
He then joined the Redcliffe Dolphins, coaching them from 2005 to 2007 and winning the competition with them in 2006. He also coached the Queensland Residents side in 2007.
Griffin coached the Brisbane Broncos' under-20s side to the 2008 Toyota Cup season's grand final. He was appointed as assistant to head coach Ivan Henjak for the 2010 NRL season.
Griffin became the third ever coach of the Broncos when he was unexpectedly announced to be replacing Henjak.
The Broncos finished the regular season in third place, their best finish to the regular season since their last premiership in 2006. Griffin then took them to within one match of the grand final. However without injured captain Darren Lockyer Brisbane were knocked out of contention by eventual premiers, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.
On 21 October 2015 Griffin accepted the head coaching position with the Penrith Panthers on a three-year deal.
On 4 October 2017, Griffin signed a new two year extension to stay as Penrith coach until the end of 2020 after guiding the club to consecutive finals appearances.
On 6 of August 2018, Griffin and the Penrith Panthers club decided to part ways with immediate effect, leaving assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo as caretaker coach.
Reddy joined Sydney's St. George Dragons club in 1972 and stayed for 12 seasons.
He was a member of premiership winning teams in 1977 and 1979.
Reddy made the first of 17 representative appearances for Australia in 1977, and is listed on the Australian Players Register as Kangaroo No. 497.
He was selected to go on the 1978 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France and in the first Test was named man-of-the-match.
Reddy was selected to play for Queensland in the first State of Origin match played on 8 July 1980.
He was one Australia's "Invincibles" in the 1982 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France.
Reddy moved to the Illawarra Steelers in 1984 and played for one last season in 1985 before retiring.
Reddy took on a player-coach role at Barrow in England in 1987.
This earned him a promotion to Division One but that campaign saw Barrow manage only one league win and suffer a club record 90-0 defeat at Leeds.
After a successful coaching stint with Cumbria, Reddy took on the reserve grade coaching duties position Brian Smith at St George.
He was appointed Smith's successor as coach in 1996 but embraced the Super League concept and walked out on his former club before a match was played.
After sitting out the 1996 season along with fellow St. George Super League loyalist Gorden Tallis while Super League successfully lodged its appeal, Reddy was the inaugural coach of the Adelaide Rams in 1997's Super League season.
Cooper is an Australian former freestyle and backstroke swimmer of the 1970s, who won a gold medal in the 400 m freestyle at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
The Cooper brothers all learned to swim early and joined the Rockhampton Swimming Club, and Cooper won his first Central Queensland medals at age seven.
In 1970, at age 15, at the national open championships, Cooper came second in both the 100 m and 200 m backstroke, putting him briefly in contention for that year's Commonwealth Games team.
Cooper then moved to Sydney, where he trained with Don Talbot. This paid dividends at the 1971 Australian Championships, when he won both the 100 m and 200 m backstroke, the latter in an Australian record time.
He also came second in the 400 m freestyle behind fellow Talbot swimmer Graham Windeatt, surpassing the previous Australian record.
This earned Cooper selection for a national team to tour Europe for competitive experience.
In January 1972, Cooper hit the headlines when he broke the 800 m freestyle world record.
Within a month, at the Australian Championships in Brisbane, he won the 400 m and 1500 m freestyle events and the 100 m and 200 m backstroke, showing versatility over a large range of distances.
This included a world record in the 400 m freestyle, while his 1500 m freestyle time was only 0.6s outside the world record. He went to Munich as one of the favourites in both the 400 m and 1500 m freestyle events, awarded gold in the 400m and placing seventh in the 1500m.
He also placed fifth in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay with Windeatt, Michael Wenden and Robert Nay.
After the Olympics, Talbot left to become a coach in Canada, forcing Cooper to return to Brisbane to train with Harry Gallagher.
In 1973, he was the Australian Champion in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle, and the 100m and 200m backstroke.
He went on to compete at the 1973 World Aquatics Championships in Belgrade, where he broke the world record for 400m and 1500m freestyle and broke the four-minute barrier for the first time.
He won silver as part of the 4 x 200m freestyle relay and was then awarded a swimming scholarship to Miami University, however stayed in Australia to complete his secondary education.
At the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, he set a new Australian record in the 200m backstroke to win gold and managed a silver in the 400m.
He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1990, and the International Swimming Hall of Game in 1994. He received an Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and was inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame in 2009.
Hailing from Yeppoon, Gosens has competed in three Paralympic Games, six World Championships and numerous state and national titles for running.
He has been awarded an Order of Australia and was named Young Queenslander of the Year in the late 90s.
He has ran from Cairns to Brisbane five times, climbed Mount Everest and is currently training for selection in the 2020 Paralympics as a triathlete.
He was named the 2018 Disability Patron of the Year.
Housman was an Australian former long-distance freestyle swimmer of the 1980s and 1990s, who won silver in the 1500-metre freestyle at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Housman entered the international stage after winning the 400, 800 and 1500-metre freestyle events at the 1989 Australian championships, gaining selection for the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, where he claimed gold in the 1500-metre event.
He broke the 1500-metre world record in Adelaide at the 1990 Australian championships to qualify for the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland.
However, this record was disallowed as the electronic timing equipment failed as he touched the finishing wall, even though he was clearly ahead of the world record as he touched.
Housman proceeded to win a gold and silver in the 1500- and 400-metre freestyle events respectively in Auckland.
In 1991, Housman was struck down by illness, and was forced to sit on the sidelines as Perkins claimed the 1500-metre freestyle world record.
He returned at the 1992 Summer Olympics, where Perkins out-swam him.
Housman was once again absent in 1993 due to illness, returning to the pool for the 1994 Commonwealth Games and finished 3rd in the 1500-metre freestyle, trailing Perkins and Daniel Kowalski. He also won gold in the 4 x 200-metre freestyle relay.
In Housman's final international campaign at the 1996 Summer Olympics, he missed out on selection for the 1500-metre behind Perkins and Kowalski, and was relegated to the role of a heat swimmer for the 4 x 200-metre freestyle relay team, which later finished fourth.
Wrestling, Rugby Union and Rugby League
Born in Rockhampton, McMaster played in the 1940s and 1950s, and was a wrestling referee in the 1960s and 1970s.
He played representative level rugby union for Australia, and at club level for Brothers Old Boys, as a prop, and representative level rugby league for Other Nationalities and British Empire, and at club level for Leeds and Past Brothers, as a prop.
McMaster won caps for Australia in rugby union while at Brothers Old Boys in 1946 against New Zealand and New Zealand Maori, in 1947 against New Zealand (two matches), on the 1947-48 Australia rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland, France and North America, and in 1947 against Ireland and Wales.
He represented the British Empire in rugby league while at Leeds in 1949 against France, and won caps for Other Nationalities in rugby league while at Leeds in 1949 against England, Wales, and in 1950 against France (two matches), in 1951 against France, and in 1952 against England.
McMaster suffered a heart attack and died while attending a presentation ceremony by the Australian Rugby Union at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Who is CQ's greatest sporting hero?
This poll ended on 18 December 2018.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.