Family tribute to Pittsworth Olympian after sudden death
A FORMER Australian Olympian who did her hometown and region proud will be celebrated by those she loved and inspired after her sudden passing last week.
Tiffany Day represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in judo, putting her hometown of Pittsworth on the map in an astonishing feat of dedication and skill in the sport.
But the unavoidable title of sporting hero was never what Ms Day, who was known as 'Tiff' to friends and family, set out to achieve, instead preferring to spend her time caring for others and helping them achieve their goals.
"She would not want that said - she never thought she was a hero or icon," her mother Debbie Day told The Chronicle.
"She tried to do her best in everything, but didn't want any accolades for her achievements.
"She shared her knowledge with everyone to help them."
That caring spirit was there from a young age when Ms Day was named the overall winner of Leukaemia Foundation's Miss Lollipop ambassador when she was five years old.
Her colourful and bright personality earned her the award.
Ms Day took up judo in Pittsworth when she was four years old, and started competing as an eight-year-old.
In 2004, aged 14, she won her first national title and won bronze at the Pan Pacific Masters Games in 2006, and was the Australian national junior champion from 2005 to 2008.
Her bronze medal qualified her for the 2008 Beijing Olympics - the world's biggest sporting stage - and while her medal bid was short-lived, Ms Day on her return home said the effort was worth it.
"It was definitely worth all the training and sacrifice to be there," she told The Chronicle in 2008.
Mrs Day said her daughter finished school in 2017 and moved to the Gold Coast to study pharmaceutical science.
"She did that for a year and a half and then had to decide whether to concentrate on that or her judo," Mrs Day said.
"She deferred at that stage.
"She ended up doing a Bachelor of Nursing and did a rural and isolated practices post-graduate certificate."
That took Ms Day to rural and remote postings, the most recent of which was in Winton where she spent 18 months before returning home to Pittsworth about a year ago.
"She was hoping to get into medicine," Mrs Day said.
"She cared more about others than she did herself."
The Day family has rallied after her sudden passing on April 9, and has invited the community to celebrate their daughter and sibling at a time and date yet to be determined.
Details will be published in a later edition of The Chronicle.
"It will be open to everybody - it's how she would have wanted it," Mrs Day said.