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'Field of Dreams' set to yield Aussie Winter Games medals

29 March 2017

PYEONGCHANG 2018: Australian Winter Olympic Team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman is hoping that Bokwang Park will be Australia’s ‘Field of Dreams’ at the PyeongChang 2018 Games.

Aussie athletes have won a medal at each Winter Games since Lillehammer 1994 and Chesterman believes the nation’s best chances will come at the site of the snowboard and freestyle skiing events come early 2018.

“Bokwang is what we are calling our Field of Dreams,” Chesterman said.

“That is the where our snowboarders and freestyle skiing athletes will be in action and that is where we are expecting our best performances to come from.

“We are certainly in the best position we have ever been in in terms of medal prospects heading into a Games there is no doubt about that.

“We know that if we can continue our form leading into the Games and limit the amount of injuries than we are really well placed.”

Australia has had a record breaking few months with a total of 40 World Cup and World Championship medals to easily eclipse the nation’s previous best season medal-winning mark of 25.

Those results included Moguls Skier Britt Cox and Snowboard Halfpipe athlete Scotty James, both who will compete on the ‘Field of Dreams’ in Bokwang, winning their World Cup series and becoming World Champions. They’ll be joined in the region by a dominant aerials team that also had a spectacular season.

“Our five aerials skiers all won medals this season which highlights the depth in that program and that is what you need when you head to an Olympic Games.

“Our athletes have so much more belief now when they go into competitions and our competitors know just how fantastic we are.”

Australia won a silver and two bronze medals at the Sochi Games and while gold is at the top of the wish list, Chesterman knows just how hard it is to win on the world’s greatest sporting stage.

“Gold medals are great but I’ll take any colour when it comes to an Olympic Games.

“Sometimes we are a bit harsh on athletes that win a silver or bronze medals and those athletes are sometimes too harsh on themselves.

“To win an Olympic medal is an incredible achievement and my personal view to make an Olympic team is an incredible achievement as well. We’ll be certainly supporting our athletes to hope their medal winning dreams can come true.”

Chesterman has recently returned from the Korean region and believes the locals will be put on an well-run Games.

“This is a country that really wanted the Winter Olympics.

“It’s a case of third time lucky for Korea to get the Winter Games hosting rights and they’re putting in a great effort to make sure everything works.

“Bokwang Park in particular will be rocking at night.”

The Winter Games kick off on February 9 with Australia looking to send a team of approximately 60 athletes.  

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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