Alcohol Not Banned But Disruptive Behaviour Is: Chiller
19 November 2013
AOC: The Australian Olympic Committee’s (AOC) restrictions on alcohol consumption at the Olympic Games are designed to increase the high performance environment in the Village and build a Team culture that leads to fulfilment of potential and success.
The Position Statement on the Australian Olympic Team and Alcohol, released by the AOC earlier today, is to devised to ensure athletes still competing at the Games are not disrupted by teammates.
Kitty Chiller, 2016 Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission, announced the measures a few weeks ago and explained the policy to media in Sydney today.
“What this policy is about is not a ban on alcohol, it’s not about stopping people celebrating after events,” Chiller explained. “This is about us providing a totally 100 per cent high performance focused environment to allow athletes to best prepare for their event whether they are competing on day 1 or day 16 of the Games.”
“It’s about recommending responsible consumption of alcohol and ensuring no other athlete in the Village is disrupted by the irresponsible consumption of alcohol by other Team members who have finished competing.”
The combination of intoxication which leads to actions that disrupts Team members will not be tolerated. It is designed to ensure all Team members are responsible for their behaviour and how this can impact other people.
“This is totally about respect for the Coat of Arms that we wear. It’s about respect for the green and gold. It’s about respect for the Olympians of decades past and the great reputation they have built for us. It’s about respecting all the tradition and history and most of all it’s about respecting their fellow Team members,” Chiller said.
The modern pentathlete from Sydney 2000, who was a Deputy Chef for the 2012 Team, told journalists this policy was not a result of specific incidents from London.
“This is not a knee-jerk reaction to London. This is about moving forward with an even greater high performance environment designed for success.
“It is disappointing that we need to include these restrictions as part of future Team Agreements but it is only necessary due to a small number of Team members from the past.”
These restrictions will first come into force for the Olympic Winter Games in February 2014 in Russia.
Chef de Mission for the Sochi 2014 Australian Olympic Team, Ian Chesterman, welcomed the increased emphasis on performance culture.
"Our goal as a Team is to go to Sochi, perform at our best and represent our country with distinction,” Chesterman said.
“The new rules relating to alcohol are designed to allow each athlete the environment to prepare and perform at their best. I fully expect our Team will buy into this culture of excellence."
Chair of the AOC Athletes’ Commission Kim Crow supports the move.
“This is not about telling athletes they can’t drink alcohol or celebrate their achievements responsibly – they are welcome to do so out of the Village. It is about respecting the Athletes’ Village as a place of performance,” Crow a dual medallist from London 2012 said.
“Every athlete deserves the chance to prepare for their competition without distractions. It is a good reminder that being an Australian Olympian is an honour that brings with it responsibility, and we expect athletes to wear the green and gold with pride - on and off the sporting field.”