Tuesday February 19, 200
The team joining Olivia includes international stars, Joan Rivers, Sir Cliff Richard, Dannii Minogue and Jane Seymour. They will be supported by Australian music industry legends, Jimmy Barnes, James Reyne and Kirk Pengilly. Television celebrities from across the globe have committed too with our own Alison Cratchley, and Rachel Gordon from Home and Away, Sunrise presenter Monique Wright, and Biggest Loser host, Ajay Rochester being joined from the US by, Carrie Ann Inaba of Dance War and Leeza Gibbons of Entertainment Tonight, fame and from the UK by actors, Gemma Atkinson from Hollyoaks and Martina Laird from Casualty. and more. Olympic and sporting heroes have also agreed to tackle the challenging journey for wellness, including, Kieren Perkins, Sam Riley, "oarsome foursome" men, Nick Green and Mike McKay and 7-time world surfing champion Layne Beachley. One of the founders of runaway business success, Curves gyms, Diane Heavin is already in training for the walk and of course the team will include everyday cancer survivors like Rhonda Martinez who works in the rag trade and fireman, Scott Morrison.
Olivia says, "I'm touched and honoured to be supported by such an eclectic and interesting group of people, it's really humbling and inspiring".
The team will face a tough physical and mental challenge, trekking 228 kilometres over 21 days along the Great Wall of China. The journey will begin with Olivia's team on a mountain trek with 40-degree gradients, winding through dust storms into the Gobi Desert as they head to Beijing over 21 days from 7th April 2008.
"It will be difficult and confronting", says Olivia, "like life there will be many ups and downs and unforseen challenges, every step will remind me of my own wellness journey and getting beyond cancer".
One in three Australians is touched by cancer. The star's personal experience with breast cancer 15 years ago led her to partner with the Austin Hospital in 2003, in her former hometown Melbourne, to create a comprehensive cancer and wellness centre for the treatment, care and research of all types of cancer.
"I will walk for the friends I have lost and for the many others who are engaged in their wellness journeys as we walk this historical metaphor of strength and endurance, each step that my team and I take will bring us closer to a realisation or our cancer and wellness centre and a healthier world", Olivia says.Each participant will support Olivia by appealing to their friends and fans to sponsor their steps via the Great Walk to Beijing website, www.greatwalktobeijing.com , where progress reports on the trek and the ability for everyone to donate to support their favourite celebrity will be available.