Special-needs school bus driver Emma McGowan took home two gold medals from the World Masters Track and Field Championships in Australia. Photo by Rob Jerome

Special-needs school bus driver Emma McGowan took home two gold medals from the World Masters Track and Field Championships in Australia. Photo by Rob Jerome

SUWANEE, Ga. — A school bus driver here recently won two gold medals at the World Masters Track and Field Championships in Perth, Australia.

Emma McGowan, who drives a special-needs bus for Gwinnett County Public Schools, won gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter competitions, according to a news release from the school district.

Training and her job go hand in hand, McGowan said.

“I love driving the bus because after I drop off the kids in the morning, I can train for several hours before I have to begin my afternoon route. But the best part of my job is that I get to take my daughter to school,” she added. “My daughter is autistic and I love being able to take her to school and pick her up. That way I know she and the other students are in great hands.”

The World Masters Track and Field Championships are the biennial championships for masters athletics events held under the auspices of World Masters Athletics. Athletes who compete in the World Masters Athletics events must be at least 35 years old.

McGowan said that she loves to compete.

“It is awesome. It takes a lot of hard work especially for me,” she added. “I am 48 years old with two children so it is not easy, but I love it. I practice three times a week at an outdoor track and once or twice in a gym.”

McGowan is now a two-time gold medal winner in the 100-meter competition. In 2015, she won a gold medal in the World Masters Athletics Championships in her native France while also taking home silver in the 200 meters and 400 meters.

“I am so thankful to have a great job and a great coach who helps me stay focused and prepared. It was also great winning the 200 meters, as I barely lost in 2015,” McGowan said.

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