Almanac Books: ‘Hard Wired’ – Emma Carney Media Release


Former triathlete Emma Carney, in conjunction with Jane E Hunt, has written a biography about her incredible life as a world champion athlete. The book examines all the trials and tribulations Emma encountered in life and her career as she strived to achieve success at the highest level.


Emma is a Sport Australia Hall of Fame Athlete Member, a World Triathlon Hall of Fame inductee, and is an Australian legend with a strong public profile, renowned for her dominance of Triathlon.


The Footy Almanac Odd Friday Lunch with Emma carney has been POSTPONED.



You can buy the book HERE.



Emma Carney with Jane E Hunt, Hard Wired: Life, Death And Triathlon
Ryan Publishing, Melbourne, 2020, pp. viii + 357, pb $39.95.



Media Release:


Fresh out of school and emerging as one of Australia’s future distance running stars, Emma Carney found the sport of triathlon, and it was never the same again.


With an unmatched record, she devastated the international circuit. Defined by a relentless pursuit of sporting excellence, Emma was known to detest losing more than she loved to win.


At home in the cutthroat world of professional sport, Emma didn’t expect a welcoming party waiting for her when she reached the pinnacle of triathlon.


A fiercely independent athlete, fitting in and conforming was never her style. Rules annoyed her and Authority irritated her. That complicated things.


Emma’s life is publicly defined by winning. Like sport, nothing is predictable. Success is fickle, life is fragile.


Her story reveals that international sporting success is about much more than winning. Courage is a constant. Hard work and dedication are vital, as are unwavering passion, belief, and desire. But there is more.


Emma’s story also raises questions: who is truly there when things go wrong, when the system fails?


Emma Carney blasted onto the World Triathlon scene in the 1994 ITU Triathlon World Championships on her international debut.  She won the race and world title by the largest margin ever. Emma then went on to be ranked world number one for three years, won more races than any other triathlete before her and won another world title. Throughout her dominance, Emma always championed equality for women, was often isolated for her stance, yet never lowered her standards.


Most expected Emma would go on to dominate the first event of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the Women’s Triathlon. Sensationally, Emma never became an Olympian. Hard Wired presents the never-before-told story of the circumstances which brought that dream to an end. It takes the reader into the dark years a World Class athlete faces when athlete wellbeing is absent and when sporting administration fails.


Emma also narrates the reader through sporting governance that exposes athletes to individuals who should not manage, administer, or coach, given their conduct or outright incompetence.  Many of these topics have never been discussed before, instead they have remained as skeletons in the sporting cupboard.


Emma’s story does not end with her non-selection for the Sydney Olympics. Further tragedies and sadness followed.  Her high-performance career ended abruptly when she found herself dying by the roadside with a heart condition that highlighted how outstanding her efforts to dominate triathlon in the 1990s were.


Since retirement, and what Emma calls her ‘loss of identity’, Emma also faced the death of her sister from cancer, the near-death of her other sister, a failed marriage, and her struggle for direction and purpose.


Honestly told, Hard Wired is both entertaining and heart-wrenching. It shows how to fight the good fight with dignity and integrity. How to be human and superhuman at the same time.  How to survive life, to overcome adversity and remain a true champion of women and for women in sport.  It is also a story of resilience and ultimately hope. Reconnecting with her roots, Emma has finally found a path forward.


The details of Emma’s Sydney 2000 Olympic Appeal were highly sought after, yet Emma never discussed them with the media at the time.  Hard Wired includes two essays: one by her father, David Carney, who drove the appeals process, and the other by sports historian Dr Jane E. Hunt, who presents an analysis of the documents and records relating to the selection process and three ensuing appeals.


In addition to the essay on the Olympic Appeals, Jane Hunt also conducted research for the book, laid the foundations for the narrative, and finalised the text. She is author of Multisport Dreaming: the foundations of triathlon in Australia (2014), more than twenty Australian biographical and historical book entries, chapters, and scholarly journal articles, and more than twenty-five articles for triathlon magazines.


“Cannot wait to read this.”  Lisa Alexander, High Performance Coaching specialist.


“Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. One of the most interesting and inspiring athletes.”                               Kate Palmer, Sport Australia CEO, Current Athletics Australia Exec Board Member.




 You are invited to OddFriday/Footy Almanac lunch with Emma Carney, details Here.


To purchase a copy Hard Wired details are Here.


You can read Braham Dabscheck’s review of Hard Wired Here. 




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