Olympic champion Sally Pearson will mark 500 days until the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as part of a global celebration today.
Ms Pearson, who won the 100m hurdles at the London 2012 games, will signal the countdown milestone in Sydney by wearing a “500 days to go” running vest before other tributes are paid in the Commonwealth’s 71 nations and territories.
The 26-year-old Australian sprint hurdler also won the 100m hurdles at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and intends to defend the title in Glasgow next year.
“I’m really looking forward to not only running in Scotland but also getting a chance to see a bit of the country,” she said.
The 500-day countdown to July 23 next year will be marked in Glasgow by pupils from St Stephen’s Primary School joining children from other Commonwealth countries and official games mascot Clyde.
A film created by Glasgow 2014 will be released showing an ordinary day in the life of a cross-section of people in Scotland with The Proclaimers’ song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) as the soundtrack.
Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said: “It is fantastic to see the rich diversity with everyone from top athletes to young schoolchildren in so many different Commonwealth regions wanting to share the celebrations of this milestone.
Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison said: “It’s great to see the real enthusiasm right around the Commonwealth at the 500 days to go milestone. We are very proud to be hosting the Games in 2014 and delighted to see the excitement, from people of all ages, in the Commonwealth this weekend.”