Lovable Laurie honoured by the AOC10 May 2014
AOC: “Stuff the silver, we’ve come for the gold” is one of many classic lines from Laurie Lawrence as he celebrated Duncan Armstrong’s gold medal swim at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Laurie has been a fixture in Australian Olympic Teams for over four decades as a coach, motivator and entertainer and in recognition of his amazing contribution the AOC today awarded him the Order of Merit at its Annual General Meeting in Sydney.
“Laurie is a Team player through and through, he has been with us from Los Angeles 1984 all the way to London 2012, an impressive 8 Olympic Teams” said AOC President John Coates.
When his coaching days ended, Laurie joined the Australian Olympic Team as an Athlete Liaison Officer and Village Activities Coordinator.
“Such was his repour with athletes he was virtually the first person picked on the Team “said Coates. “Laurie is a master at bringing athletes from different sports together and creating Team harmony. I’ve never met anyone with his energy and enthusiasm”.
“Laurie organised bar-b-ques and entertainment. At the Sydney 2000 Games he was up on stage with John Williamson and Marcia Hines. At Team functions he sat the biggest basketballer with the smallest gymnast. He paid particular attention to young first-time Olympians to ensure they were made to feel at home. They weren’t left out”.
He was famous for getting Aussie athletes, sometimes up to 50, into venues to cheer for their mates without a ticket. It was usually a “gooday mate” to the gate attendant and in they’d go. They’d be covered in green and gold war paint and waving boxing kangaroos and inside Laurie would lead the chant for the Australian Team.
He coached numerous World and Olympic champions, including Steve Holland, Tracey Wickham, Jon Sieben and Duncan Armstrong.
His Team induction ceremonies in the Olympic Village are legendary.... packed with emotion and inspiration with Laurie reciting poetry for the athletes and occasionally delivering the odd slap to in the heat of the moment.