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Australian Winter Youth Team delivers

23 January 2012

President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge said the first Winter Youth Olympic Games has ‘exceeded all expectations’ at the closing ceremony in downtown Innsbruck. The same can be said for the 2012 Australian Winter Youth Olympic Team.

Bronze medals to snowboarder Alex Fitch and ice hockey player Sharnita Crompton were Australia’s outstanding performances, backed up by an additional six top-ten finishes across five disciplines. All 13 athletes represented our country with distinction and gave their all against the world’s best winter junior specialists.

From Perth, Melbourne, the Snowy Region, Sydney, the NSW Central Coast, Brisbane and Townsville our  15-17 year olds have done Australia proud and given their all. It’s not easy to compete against opponents who ski to school or have huge mountains on their doorstep yet our Australian athletes did just that.

In her first role as Chef de Mission of an Australian Team, Alisa Camplin is thrilled with what has been achieved.

“We worked so hard before and during the Youth Olympics to ensure these athletes had all the tools and support they needed to achieve a best performance – and we succeeded,” Camplin, a dual Olympic aerial skiing medallist said.

“The athletes always came first in every decision we made.  We had younger coaches and support staff from the national federations and the Australian Olympic Committee who brought huge energy and an impressive level of professionalism to the team.

“Hearing our athletes comment on the quality of our team culture really made me smile. Our focus on excellence, learning and growing was the perfect complement to their deep desire to succeed and obvious passion for their sport and country.”

Camplin has many highlights and positives for her Team but two stand-out.

“Watching some of our athletes who didn’t have pre-competition or pre-performance plans, learn to formulate and then execute one was very exciting, Camplin said.

“I also observed athlete/coach relationships that are already world class and their path to senior success is mapped out. I look forward to seeing some of these athletes at Sochi in 2014 and many in PyeongChang in 2018.”

Alex Fitch then represented the Australian Team in the Closing Ceremony as flagbearer to top off a wonderful 10 days where she also finished fourth in the halfpipe.

Fitch is one of the athletes who will stay in the northern hemisphere to continue competing before returning to Australia. For the other half of athletes and support staff they fly back to the Australian summer to thaw out and reflect on a sensational Games experience. 

Andrew Reid

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