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"All of you here today have the potential to do great things," she told about 50 pupils of high schools and colleges throughout Otago.
The Otago Secondary Schools Sports Association (OSSSA) organised a breakfast meeting in Alexandra with Shanks as the guest speaker. Teenage athletes in 11 different sporting codes from country schools were invited to take part.
Shanks won two gold medals - one in the 3000m individual pursuit and the other in team pursuit - at the World Cup in Beijing in January and the pupils were able to view her medals, the rainbow jersey she won and the uniform she wore during her medal-winning efforts.
"The race itself only took three minutes 28 seconds, so the race itself is over in a flash, but there's lots of people that made up my team to the world champs - there were 12 athletes and 10 support staff. Every part of Team Shanks is crucial to that performance," she said.
Answering questions about the amount of training she did, Shanks said, during the road season, she would cover up to 550km a week.
During the track season, it would be between 300km and 350km a week, mixed with gym training.