2016 - The year that was

23 December 2016

And just like that 2016 has come and gone leaving us with plenty of memorable moments that will live on forever in the record books.

It was an action packed year to say the least with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games and plenty of other world class competitions where our Australian athletes did us proud.

We reflect on some of the great achievements of 2016 (click through on each link to re-live the moments in detail):

Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games (February) – Australia pulled in its biggest winter medal haul ever when the team of just 17 came home with four silver and a bronze medal. Young snowboard halfpipe star Emily Arthur finished only behind world number one Chloe Kim, Zali Offord (silver) and Louis Muhlen (bronze) claimed ski cross medals, while Adam Dickson added silver in the snowboard cross. The event finished on a high with short track speed skater Julia Moore helping her mixed nation team win silver.

 

Track Cycling World Championships (March) – Australia built for the Rio 2016 Games with a number of strong performances. The men’s Team Pursuit team won gold, as did Rebecca Wiasak in the non-Olympic Individual Pursuit. Matt Glaetzer took home silver in the Individual Sprint, as did Anna Meares in the Keirin, while Glenn O’Shea won bronze in the Omnium.

 

Rio 2016 Olympic Games (August) – It feels like just yesterday Chloe Esposito was running across the finish line in Rio with a big smile on her face and a gold medal in the bag. The Rio 2016 Olympic Games had so many amazing moments with the likes of Mack Horton, Kyle Chalmers and the 4x100m women’s freestyle team leading the charge in the pool, and the women’s Sevens team making history on the pitch. Tom Burton had one of the biggest come-from-behind victories of the Games, while Catherine Skinner scraped into the semi-final before taking out trap shooting gold. Kim Brennan confirmed herself as one of our all-time greatest rowers with gold in the single sculls, while Opening Ceremony flag bearer Anna Meares became Australia’s first athlete to win a medal in four different Olympic Games. Rio certainly put on a show!

 

Rise of the Aussies in new Olympic Sports - Five new sports were added to the programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and two Aussie athletes secured World Championships in 2016 in two of them. Tyler Wright won her first surfing world title and even though we are quite a way out from Tokyo, at only 22 there is no doubt that she could challenge to become surfing’s first ever Olympic gold medallist. Shane O’Neill also showed Australia can match it with the best in skateboarding as he claimed the SLS Super Crown World Championship.

 

Short Course Swimming World Championships (December) - Australia came home with an 11 medal haul, including two gold, two silver and seven bronze, from the event in Windsor, Canada. Mitch Larkin claimed the 100m backstroke, while two-time Olympic relay gold medallist Brittany Elmslie won an individual gold in the women's 100m freestyle.

 

Early success on the road to PyeongChang 2018 (November-December) – Australia have started their road to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in spectacular fashion taking out a number of World Cup medals to kick off the season. Britt Cox won her first ever Moguls World Cup event while Matt Graham claimed silver in Finland. Aerials skier Danielle Scott led the way in Beida Lake, China with a gold and a silver medal while Samantha Wells grabbed a bronze and the Aussies took home bronze in the team event. Belle Brockhoff won gold and Alex Pullin took home bronze in the opening snowboard Cross World Cup. 

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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