The 2014 Australian Olympic Team is making history and the Sochi Games haven’t even started yet.
Not only will Australia send its biggest team ever to a winter Games – with 60 athletes – but for the first time in history, the team will have more women than men.
Thirty-one (31) of the nation’s finest, most fearless young women will take to the ice and snow next month, with 29 Aussie men also in action.
At the Vancouver 2010 Olympics there were 20 men and 20 women. At the London 2012 summer Games the team comprised 224 men and 186 women.
Since Australia has competed at every modern summer Olympic Games since 1896 and all but four winter Games this is an historic team in the proud history of Australian Olympic teams.
‘I think it’s quite exciting – it means that more girls are getting out there and participating, and doing well,’ said Kim Crow, chair of the Australian Olympic Committee’s (AOC) Athletes’ Commission.
‘It shows that women can achieve things at the highest level.’
Crow, a dual Olympian won two medals in London, was named International Rower of the Year in 2013 and is a strong inspiration for Australian women in sport.
‘The great thing about the Olympics is that you get exposed to a variety of sports,’ she said. ‘One thing that I think keeps women out of sport is that the options seem limited. It’s important for girls to know that there’s more than just hockey or netball on offer. There are a huge variety of sports that can suit all sorts of different women.’
The trend for Australian women succeeding at the Olympics has been growing stronger over recent years, something Crow expects to continue into the future.
‘It’s not hugely surprising that Australian women are excelling at the Olympics.
‘Women in our country don’t have the same dominance in their sports that men have with the football codes. So, a large percentage of the female talent pool will end up in Olympic sports.’
AOC president John Coates has lauded strong female representation in sport for many years and was also pleased to see the team for Sochi achieve this feat.
‘While selections in the Australian Olympic winter team are based on the qualification systems adopted by the International Olympic Committee and International Federations for each sport’s discipline, it is nevertheless reassuring that here in Australia, the programs and support of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, the Australian and State Institutes of Sport and the Australian Olympic Committee are such that our female athletes are clearly getting a fair go,’ said Coates.
2014 AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC TEAM – FACTS AND FIGURES
TOTAL TEAM SIZE
31 female athletes, 29 male athletes
OLYMPIC GAMES APPEARANCES
4th Olympic Games – 1 Athlete
3rd Olympic Games – 7 Athletes
Dale Begg‐Smith; Esther Bottomley; Torah Bright; Holly Crawford; Jenny Owens; Jana Pittman; Astrid Radjenovic
2nd Olympic Games – 9 Athletes
Alex Almoukov; Britt Cox; Katya Crema; Duncan Harvey; Scotty James; Scott Kneller; David Morris; Alex Pullin; Michelle Steele
1st Olympic Games – 43 Athletes
Emily Bamford; Phil Bellingham; Pierre Boda; Cam Bolton; Belle Brockhoff; Kent Callister; Lucy Chaffer; Lavinia Chrystal; John Farrow; Alex Ferlazzo; Lucy Glanville; Matt Graham; Daniel Greig; Anton Grimus; Sam Hall; Brooklee Han; Russ Henshaw; Jarryd Hughes; Nathan Johnstone; Sami Kennedy‐Sim; Brendan Kerry; Deanna Lockett; Stephanie Magiros; Lucas Mata; Greg Merriman; Gareth Nichols; Danielle O’Brien; Taylah O’Neill; Nicole Parks; Laura Peel; Ross Peraudo; Danielle Scott; Anna Segal; Amy Sheehan; Greta Small; Heath Spence; Brodie Summers; Hannah Trigger; Callum Watson; Samantha Wells; Davina Williams; Dominic Demschar; Aimee Watson
Jenny Owens (Freestyle Skiing) – 35 (17 May 1978)
Deanna Lockett (Short Track Speed Skating) – 18 (13 Nov 1995) 29 January 2014
ATHLETES WITH OLYMPIAN RELATIVES
Aimee Watson (Cross Country Skiing) – Callum Watson (Cross Country Skiing) [Siblings]*
Amy Sheehan (Freestyle Skiing) – Lyndon Sheehan (Freestyle Skiing – 2014 New Zealand) [Brother]* Dale Begg‐Smith (Freestyle Skiing) – Jason Begg‐Smith (Freestyle Skiing – 2006) [Brother]
Torah Bright (Snowboard) – Rowena Bright (Alpine Skiing – 2002) [Sister]
Belle Brockhoff (Snowboard) – Peter Brockhoff (Alpine Skiing – 1960, 1964) [Uncle]
Sami Kennedy‐Sim (Freestyle Skiing) – Ben Sim (Cross Country – 2010) [Husband]
Brendan Kerry (Figure Skating) – Monica MacDonald (Figure Skating – 1988) [Mother]
Lydia Lassila (Freestyle Skiing) – Lauri Lassila (Freestyle Skiing – 1998 Finland) [Husband]
Astrid Radjenovic (Bobsleigh) – Vuk Radjenovic (Bobsleigh – 2002, 2010 Serbia) [Husband]
* Competing at the same Games in Sochi 2014
ATHLETES WITH OTHER OLYMPIC SPORT REPRESENTATION
Jenny Owens (Freestyle Skiing) – Alpine Skiing 2002 Jana Pittman (Bobsleigh) – Athletics 2000, 2004*
*Pittman is the first female Australian athlete to represent at the summer and winter Olympics. The first male Australian athlete was Paul Narracott.
YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES ATHLETES
Alex Ferlazzo (Luge) – Innsbruck 2012
Lucy Glanville (Biathlon) – Innsbruck 2012 (Cross Country) Greta Small (Alpine Skiing) – Innsbruck 2012
BIRTHDAYS DURING THE GAMES
Danielle O’Brien (Figure Skating) – 07/02/1990 Esther Bottomley (Cross Country) – 08/02/1983 Nate Johnstone (Snowboard) – 09/02/1990 Holly Crawford (Snowboard) – 10/02/1984 John Farrow (Skeleton) – 18/02/1982
ATHLETES BORN OUTSIDE OF AUSTRALIA
Alex Almoukov – Russia; Dale Begg‐Smith – Canada; Kent Callister – USA; Brooklee Han – USA
Ross Peraudo – Italy; Dominic Demschar – Austria
CHEF DE MISSION
Ian Chesterman will lead the Australian Olympic team to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Sochi will be his fifth Games as chef de mission, having led the team at Nagano 1998, Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010. At the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, he was deputy chef de mission.