Looking back at 2010

22 December 2010

With the new year almost upon us, it is timely to look back on 2010, what has been a big year for the Australian Olympic movement.

In February, the 2010 Australian Olympic Winter Team recorded the nation’s best ever result at a Winter Olympics, winning two gold and one silver medal.

Torah Bright and Lydia Lassila’s gold medals in the snowboard halfpipe and freestyle aerials were both spectacular successes. Dale Begg-Smith faced a tough challenge defending his Olympic moguls title in his birth-city Vancouver. Despite producing an amazing performance, he was pipped for the gold by local hero Alexandre Bilodeau. Begg-Smith took home silver, Australia’s first Olympic Winter medal of that colour, and in doing so, became our most successful Winter Olympian so far.

Lassila’s golden performance in the women’s aerials, after her memorable injury in Torino four years earlier, has continued to inspire throughout the year. Her win also prompted the Australian and Queensland governments to jointly fund a water jump facility in Queensland, news which Federal Sports Minister Mark Arbib announced earlier this month.

Just a few short months after the Vancouver Games concluded, 100 of Australia’s finest young athletes were decked out in the Team green and gold to head to Singapore for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games.

The brain-child of IOC President Jacques Rogge, the Youth Olympics were a resounding success with athletes aged 14-18 from 205 National Olympic Committees gathering for a festival of high level sport as well as Olympic culture and education.

Australia emerged from the Games with victories across many sports and demonstrated the country’s depth of sporting talent in the younger ranks.

On 15 September 2010 the 10th Anniversary of the Sydney Olympics was celebrated with a fantastic event at Sydney Olympic Park. Cathy Freeman, Louise Sauvage and the late Juan Antonio Samaranch were honoured with plaques at the Park and Lord Sebastian Coe was present to unveil the London 2012 plaque in Olympic Boulevard. The day was a colourful celebration of “the best Games ever” and was enjoyed by Olympians, volunteers and the Australian public alike.

London is looming now and the Australian Olympic Committee is in full stride making preparations for the Team. The first Youth Olympic Winter Games are also set to take place in January 2012 in Innsbruck so it is as always, a busy time. Within the Committee, there have been two milestone anniversaries this year. AOC President John Coates recently celebrated 20 years as the Committee’s President and Secretary General Craig Phillips celebrated 20 years with the Committee.

The AOC would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

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