Australian Olympic Committee finalises Australia’s team for Tokyo Games
The Australian Olympic Committee has named the 472 athletes who will be competing at the Tokyo Games with the team consisting of 254 women and 218 men. This selection includes a record number of women and a record 16 First Nations athletes.
This year’s team is the second-largest Australian Olympic contingent, 10 short of the 482 Australian athletes who participated in the Athens Games in 2004.
Australia will compete in 33 sports, including all four new Olympic sports: karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.
Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman congratulated all athletes selected for Tokyo and paid tribute to the athletes for having endured the uncertainties of a one-year postponement, disrupted competitions, qualifying opportunities and access to training venues.
Chesterman noted “this has been extremely difficult for every athlete, and each has their own individual story to tell. But they have made it. Through their determination and commitment, they are going to Tokyo.
“Even before these Games are declared open on July 23, this Australian team has made its own history. They are a special team and Australians can be very proud of them.
“I would also like to pay tribute to those athletes for whom the postponement and global environment prevented them from being a part of this team. Whether that’s through injury and retirement, lack of safe access to qualification events or through difficult personal circumstances, many have been forced to make that tough call.
“I can promise these athletes that this team carries their legacy and their contributions in their hearts all the way to Tokyo and into the heat of Olympic competition.”
Chesterman advised he and the management Team on the ground in Tokyo are focused on giving every athlete their opportunity to succeed in their Olympic moment and added “the AOC has talked about not setting medal targets and placing unhelpful expectations on these athletes. Given the events of the past 18 months, this has been the correct path. Getting to the start line has been so difficult.
“If we can create the right environment, our Team has the chance to achieve the goals they have set for themselves, whether that’s a personal best or a medal. They don’t need pressure from us, they need us to do our job for them.
“To assist in that task we have a vastly experienced team with Deputy Chefs Susie O’Neill, Evelyn Halls and Ken Wallace – all Olympians. Added to this, Olympian Kyle Vander Kuyp joins the management team as our first Indigenous Liaison Officer.
“We have 16 Indigenous Olympians on this Team and Kyle’s experience and understanding will certainly be welcomed, by those athletes and the broader group.”
Chesterman also praised the work of AOC Member sports, Federal and State governments, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), AOC staff as well as the many volunteers whose constant efforts have assisted the Team navigate the difficult path to the start line in Tokyo.
“It has taken an extraordinary amount of effort to deal with the complexity of getting our delegation, in total 990 people, to the point where they can safely travel to Tokyo from all parts of the world.
“But through agile planning and responding quickly to the measures announced by the IOC and our Japanese hosts along the way, we are ready. The athletes know what lies ahead of them and will comply with all the measures in place to keep themselves safe and keep the Japanese people safe.”
The Tongan Government has reported to have withdrawn its athletes from participating in the Tokyo Games.
Image: Some of the athletes representing Australia at the upcoming Tokyo Games.Courtesy AUS Olympic Team
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