The Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games will be the first time Australia has been represented at these Games.
The Olympic Council of Asia invited the Oceania National Olympic Committees to compete at Sapporo as guests, following an approach by the Australian Olympic Committee.
The athletes from Oceania can enter individual sports only and will not be eligible to win medals.
The Asian Winter Games were first suggested by the Japanese Olympic Committee in 1982, to promote and develop winter sport in Asia. The first Games were held in Sapporo in 1986 with only 290 athletes from seven countries and one territory competing across seven disciplines. The Sapporo Games are expected to be the largest Asian Winter Games in history with around 1,500 athletes from approximately 30 countries and regions.
The team of 30 Australian athletes features some of the nation’s brightest winter prospects. Australia will be represented in snowboard, freestyle skiing, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, biathlon, short track speed skating and figure skating. The team features a number of young up and coming athletes who are working towards qualifying for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Among the athletes competing are three-time Olympian Holly Crawford (snowboard – halfpipe), Vancouver 2010 Olympian Ben Sim (cross country skiing), and Brendan Kerry (figure skating), Pierre Boda (short track speed skating) and Deanna Lockett (short track speed skating) who all competed in their first Games at Sochi.
The full list of Australian athletes can be found HERE.
The full competition schedule can be viewed HERE.
Sapporo is the capital city, and the political, economic and cultural centre of the island Hokkaido, and is located on the west coast of the island. Hokkaido is located at the northern end of Japan. The city of Sapporo, with a population of over 1.9 million people, hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics and is a popular tourist destination. Speed Skating will be held in the Obihiro Forest Speed Skating Oval in the city of Obihiro, towards the east cost of Hokkaido.
• Sapporo Dome: Opening Ceremony
• Sapporo Teine: Alpine skiing, Snowboard
• Shirahatayama Open Stadium: Cross Country Skiing
• Miyanomori Ski Jump Stadium: Ski jumping
• Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium: Ski jumping
• Sapporo Bankei Ski Area: Freestyle Skiing, Snowboard
• Obihiro Forest Speed Skating Oval: Long Track Speed Skating
• Makomanai Indoor Skating Rink: Short track Speed Skating, Figure Skating, Closing Ceremony
• Nishioka Biathlon Stadium: Biathlon
• Tsukisamu Gymnasium/ Mikaho Gymnasium: Ice Hockey
• Sapporo Curling Stadium: Curling