Basketball

It has been the women who have produced the best results for Australia in basketball at the Olympic Games. Australia’s women’s team made its first appearance in Los Angeles 1984 and has qualified for every Olympics since, except for Barcelona 1992. After gaining a fifth (1984) and fourth (1988), the women broke through to the medals, winning bronze in Atlanta 1996. They improved to silver medal performances in Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, losing to the United States on all three occasions. In 2012 the women lost a preliminary match against France in overtime to finish second in their pool and face the United States in the semi final. After falling to the US 86-73, Flagbearer Lauren Jackson led the team to an 83-74 win over Russia to seal the bronze medal.

Australia’s men first played in Melbourne 1956 and have qualified for every Olympics since, except for Rome in 1960 and Mexico City 1968. The best placings achieved have been fourths in Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992) and Sydney (2000). From Tokyo 1964 until Athens 2004, there was a member of the Gaze family associated with the men's Olympic team. Lindsay was a player in 1964 and a coach from 1972 until 1984. As well as a player in the 1960 and 1968 teams that were eliminated in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournaments. Lindsay's son Andrew played in every team from 1984 until 2000 and carried the Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony in Sydney. Andrew Gaze scored 789 points in his Olympic career to be one of the highest scorers in Games history.

In Montreal, Australian Ed Palubinskas, a shooting wizard, was the leading scorer in the Olympic basketball tournament, after being runner-up in Munich. Palubinskas was Australia’s first internationally rated basketballer.