One of Australia's best performances at an Olympic Winter Games came from Colin Coates, a speed skater. In 1976 at Innsbruck, he finished sixth in the 10,000 metres; he also finished eighth in the 1500m, 10th in the 5,000m, 11th in the 1,000m and 23rd in the 500m. He was the 29, competing in his third Olympics. He went on to represent as a competitor an astonishing six times by 1988, capping a 20-year Olympic career with his fastest 10,000m ever. Coates was an extraordinary athlete: three times Australian speed skating champion, triple Australian and ten times Victorian champion in a 14-foot sailing dinghy, a competent ice hockey player and cyclist. Once, while skiing, he fell 25 metres on to an ice ledge, breaking both arms, his jaw, left shoulder and nose. He had 10 metal pins inserted in his body, but was back skating and racing on ice within three weeks.
Taken from Harry Gordon’s ‘Australia and the Olympic Games’