It was the most fitting of finales.
The script as close to perfect as possible.
Maybe even capping off what will turn out to be the enduring storyline from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Kurt Fearnley, the 37-year-old father-of-two from Hamilton, selected to lead the national team into Carrara Stadium as the flagbearer for the closing ceremony on Sunday night less than 24 hours after winning his final race for Australia.
The five-time Paralympian and disability advocate claimed victory on home soil in what was the first wheelchair marathon at the largest ever integrated Commonwealth Games.
An international multi-sport event which he was part of behind the scenes from the very start, but then found himself front and centre stage come the very end.
And these honours, the culmination of a career’s worth of memorable moments and to represent his country with distinction one last time, wasn’t lost on the inspirational champion.
“It’s a good way to go out,” Fearnley’s long-time coach Andrew Dawes told the Newcastle Herald.
“It was the first time I saw him get real emotional actually. [Australia team chef de mission] Steve Moneghetti came up to him [after the marathon] and quietly spoke something into his ear.
“Then Kurt came over to me and said ‘they’ve asked me to carry the flag into the stadium’ and he started to tear up. It means a lot to him.”
Before the big show itself, Fearnley on Sunday afternoon once again graciously addressed the media.
“I’m just a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing honestly,” he said.
“It’s just been an unbelievable week. An unbelievable week. These Games have been one the most enjoyable things that I’ve been apart of.
“The race this morning, I feel like I’ve lost fluid, but from crying all morning. It’s just one of the most emotional things I’ve been part of, by far.”
Moneghetti said the selection was an easy one.
“I could not think of a more worthy person to be carrying an Australian flag out at one of our most successful Commonwealth Games ever than Kurt Fearnley,” he said.
It was a popular choice with athletes, including swimmer Mitch Larkin who won five title on the Gold Coast, commentators and punters alike all applauding Fearnley’s hard-earned appointnment.
There’s little wonder why.
He’s not only outstanding at what he does in a sporting sense, clocking up serious numbers – race time of one hour 30 minutes and 25 seconds, maximum speed of 37.44 kilometres per hour and a top heart rate of 211 beats per minute – to ensure he had that gold medal draped around his neck.
But then there’s his endearing nature highlighted by the heartwarming scenes embracing wife Sheridan, children Harry and Emilia, at the finish line and on the podium with relieving and celebratory hugs before delivering this message in his hour of glory.
“If I can say anything to the next people coming up wearing the green and gold, when you get near a microphone, when you speak, err on the side of kindness, how about that?” Fearnley said.
“And if you can get here, bring your family with you, bring people with you because it makes it so much more worthwhile.”
No more in green and gold but Fearnley will keep “running”, starting Sunday in the London Marathon.