News

Rio plans progress well around Sochi - Kitty Blog #2

21 March 2014

BLOG: Last time I posted a blog it was 1,000 days to go until the Rio Opening Ceremony in 2016. Today it is just 867 days to go and writing this blog provided an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved in the last 133 days.

While attention during this period was focussed on the Sochi Winter Olympics there was still plenty of Rio work being done behind the scenes. Before I talk about some of that work though I would like to congratulate my colleague Ian Chesterman for his leadership of the Winter Team. While missing out on that elusive gold medal, the overall team performances were easily the best ever in respect of top 10 finishes, and we equalled our best ever Games haul of 3 medals. Congratulations to Ian and the entire team of athletes and officials.

But now all eyes are on Rio, (and of course also the Youth Olympics in Nanjing this August).

The full Rio Team Executive has met many times in the last few months, starting in November 2013 with a two day strategic planning retreat at the MCG. At that session, we all developed a ‘Plan on a Page’ for our respective areas of responsibility:

Kitty Chiller – Leadership

Matt Favier – Performance Excellence

Craig Phillips – Planning and Execution

Julien Prosser – Culture and Values

Chris Fydler – Location Specific (Copacabana Zone)

Over the last few weeks we have fine-tuned those Plans, which include the major deliverables for the Team Executive and also what success looks like for the team and us, as individuals. These Plans will drive the development of the Australian Olympic Team Strategic Plan, which I will be presenting to the AOC Executive for adoption in May.

At the November retreat, the Team Executive determined that our vision is that:

The Australian Olympic Team is the most respected team in the world.

This is a very powerful statement that will underpin our approach to planning, preparations and decisions.

In order to aim toward that vision we developed three objectives:

  1. Unity of Purpose – ensuring we continue to work collaboratively with the AIS under the Campaign Rio banner, and also all other Australian sporting system sectors and partners, and of course within our team as well;
  2. Top 5 – the stated aim of both the AOC and AIS in respect of the gold and overall medal tallies; and
  3. A Life’s Best Experience for all Team Members – Once an Olympian, Always an Olympian. We must ensure that the Rio experience for all team members is positive, enjoyable and valuable.

In my last blog, I wrote that I intended to spend as much time as possible with our sports over the next two years so that I can understand their performance needs. Over the last couple of months I have attended events, meetings or workshops of the following sports: sailing, tennis, swimming, shooting, equestrian, rowing, modern pentathlon, canoe kayak, golf and gymnastics. I will continue to attend as many events as possible in the coming months.

In early April I am heading back to Rio for another planning visit, this time with Deputy Chef de Mission Chris Fydler and AIS Performance Director Nick Brown. We will be attending a two day NOC forum held by the Rio Organising Committee. This will be a great opportunity to see how far they have progressed since I was last there in October. The Organising Committee certainly needs to keep its foot on the gas in respect of preparation of venues and plans. We will be reporting back to sports on that visit at the April Campaign Rio High Performance Forum in Sydney.

The other main focus of this visit is to spend time in the Copacabana / Ipanema region where we envisage just over 100 of our athletes will be housed, in order to be in close proximity to their competition venues. Sailing, rowing and sprint canoe are the largest groups we are talking about here. Those three sports alone brought us 4 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals in London so we need to ensure we provide them, and the other sports competing in that zone, the best possible environment to succeed.

In early March AOC sport staff and I attended a one day forum with AIS staff from the Performance area. It was a very productive day with both teams sharing processes, requirements and knowledge. This is all part of the Campaign Rio project, ensuring that we work together in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Another area of focus in recent months has been on culture and values. Deputy Chef de Mission Julien Prosser is responsible for this area and we have spent considerable time developing our Culture and Values Road Map. This will be a two year plan leading in to Rio with face to face contact with athletes and some other exciting initiatives. The Road Map will be launched at the April High Performance Forum.

Congratulations to all our prospective Olympic team members who have achieved significant results in the past few months. I look forward to continuing the journey with all sports on the #RoadtoRio.

Kitty Chiller
Chef de Mission