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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Australia at the Olympics: 10 Super Facts

Australia at the Olympics has a long and successful Olympic record. Australia has hosted two Olympic Games – the first one hosted in 1956 in Melbourne and the second one in Sydney in 2000 and will again host the event in Brisbane in 2032 – but its best result in terms of gold medals came at the 2004 Athens Games. The games also provided Australia with an opportunity to showcase its culture to an international audience.


History of the Olympic Games

Every four years, the Olympic Games are held, with the Summer and Winter Olympics switched every two years. Summer Olympic Games were hosted in 23 towns, and Winter Olympic Games were held in 21 locations. The Olympic Games originated in Greece. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chooses the location of each Olympic Games. Hosting the Olympic Games for any city has been considered a major boon for the city as it increases valuable tourism, boosts local economies, and grows a host country’s global trade and stature.

 


How many Gold Medals has Australia won in the Olympics?

Australia at the Olympics is one of the most powerful competitors. Australia has played in almost 47 Olympic sports. In the Olympics, Australia has won 172 gold medals. Athletes from Australia have competed in every edition of the modern Olympic Games.

 

Except 1924–32 and 1948, Australia has competed in every Summer Olympic Games and every Winter Olympic Games. Between 1908 and 1912, Australia and New Zealand participated under the name Australasia. Sport inspires and connects Australia with the world.

Australia initially competed in the Winter Olympic Games in 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and has competed in every event since, except the 1948 Games in St. Moritz.

The best sport for Australia over the years has been swimming, winning a total of 190 medals since the 1896 Games. Swimming has a long history of Olympic success in Australia, and it is without a doubt the country’s most successful Olympic sport.

Australia at the olympics
Photo by Gentrit Sylejmani on Unsplash

International Olympic Committee

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized Australasia in 1895, one year before the first modern-day Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Until 1920, when Australia founded the Australian Olympic Council, which is now the Australian Olympic Committee, Australia and New Zealand participated in the same team (AOC).


Australian Olympic Committee

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) is committed to Australia’s athletes and encourages the development of high-performance sports through athlete support and funding initiatives. It was created and recognized in 1895. The AOC’s mission is to promote, create awareness of, and encourage sports participation for the benefits of health, longevity, fitness, skill, achievement, social interaction, wellness, and other exercise-related benefits.

The AOC is a non-profit organization that is funded entirely by private donations, except payments from state governments to the Olympic Team Appeal. The AOC sent the largest-ever team for an Olympic Games on foreign soil for its Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


Australian Athletes

Australia’s first Olympian, accountant, and Australasian champion runner Edwin Flack, is regarded as the country’s first Olympian. He won the 800-meter and 1500-meter sprints, took part in the marathon, and finished third in doubles tennis.

Steven John Bradbury OAM is a four-time Olympian and former short-track speed skater from Australia. He won the 1,000 m event at the 2002 Winter Olympics when all of his competitors were involved in the last corner pile-up.

Many of Australia’s gold medals have come in swimming, a prominent activity in the country, with swimmers such as Dawn Fraser and Emma McKeon among the sport’s all-time greats.

Other sports in which Australia has traditionally excelled include:

  • field hockey;
  • cycling, particularly track cycling;
  • rowing;
  • equestrian competitions, particularly the three-day team eventing;
  • and sailing.

Australia takes international sporting competition, especially the Olympics, very seriously, and provides elite athletes with a significant amount of government financing and coaching assistance, mainly through the Australian Institute of Sport.

Australia at the olympics
Photo by Ethan Wilkinson on Unsplash

10 Facts about Australia at the Olympics 

  1. Australia is slated to host the 2023 Olympics in Brisbane

  2. Between 1988 and 2000, the women’s field hockey team won three gold medals. In 2004, the men’s squad won its first championship.

  3. Equestrian Mary Hanna, a 66-year-old grandmother competing in her sixth Olympics, is Australia’s oldest athlete.

  4. Australia at the Olympics has traditionally been an Olympic powerhouse, with many of its best athletes putting on show-stopping performances at each game.

  5. The five Olympic rings represent the five continents, and the colors were chosen because they appear on all competing nations’ flags around the world.

  6. The first-place Olympic medals were composed of real gold until 1912! Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Around 5,000 bronze, silver, and gold medals have been awarded in recent Games — that’s a lot of metal! The heavy first-place medals are now wrapped in 6 grams of gold, rather than being made of solid gold.

  7. The Greeks always lead the athlete procession in the opening ceremony, which is followed by the host team. All others are listed alphabetically according to the host country’s language.

  8. The Olympic flame is kindled every two years in Olympia, Greece, on the Peloponnese peninsula, before traveling to the host nation. The flame is then carried around the country by the host nation before being used to fire the Olympic Cauldron at the opening ceremony.

  9. Only Greece, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland had athletes competing in every single summer game.

  10. Golf made a reappearance at the 2016 Olympic games after an absence of 112 years. Surfing, sport climbing, karate, and skateboarding are the four new sports at this year’s Olympics. Baseball and softball are also returning to the Olympics for the first time since 2008, thanks to their popularity in Japan. They will not participate in the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

Also read, How to apply for an Australian passport

Conclusion 

Australia at the Olympics is truly an experience you cannot miss. Australia is a successful sporting freak and the Olympic Games are a great pride for the Australians. Do let me know in the comments section below if you enjoyed reading about Team Australia at the Olympics.

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