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Australian Olympic Team selected for PyeongChang 2018

25 January 2018

PYEONGCHANG 2018: The Australian Olympic Team for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games has been finalised with 51 of the nation’s finest athletes set to hit the ice and snow when the Games kick off on February 9.

The Australian Team will feature in alpine skiing, bobsleigh, cross country skiing, figure skating, freestyle skiing, luge, short track speed skating, skeleton, snowboard and speed skating.

The athletes represent the best credentialed team sent to a Winter Olympics by Australia having claimed 54 individual World Cup medals to go with five World Championship podiums over the past 18 months between them.

Dual Olympic medallist Lydia Lassila will return for her fifth Winter Olympics appearance, Holly Crawford will attend her fourth Games while current WorldChampions Britt Cox and Scotty James, both just 23, will be back for their third Games.

Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman is excited to lead the Team that will take on the world’s best in a little over a fortnight’s time.

“PyeongChang is ready, our athletes are excited and the focus is on the final days of preparation before the Team starts to arrive in South Korea next week,” said Chesterman, who will lead the Australian Team at a Winter Games for the sixth time.

“The Team is a great cross-section of sports on the winter program which is important to the Australian Olympic Committee.

“Having taken a really young Team to Sochi there are a number of returning Olympians that will benefit from that experience while there are also a number of Olympic debutants that are the future of their sports, which is also great to see.”

The team features a total of 17 athletes who have claimed a medal since the start of the 2016/17 season and Chesterman believes the Team is in great shape 15 days out from the Opening Ceremony.

“This is the best performed Team that we’ve taken to an Olympic Games with a large number of athletes who have established that they are amongst the very best in their sports globally.”

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Chesterman has been as close as anybody to see the rise of winter sport in Australia and he is proud that the country now heads to the Games not simply as a nation there to compete but a Team there to contend.

“This Team shows that winter sports in Australia are in really good shape, with real depth developing in a number of sports. We will field maximum team sizes in women’s aerials and moguls and men’s snowboard cross, which is a great position to be in.

“It is pleasing that winter sports are now embraced as mainstream in the Australian sports system and we hope PyeongChang produces the results that the athletes deserve.”

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Champion and Sochi 2014 bronze medallist Lassila has been part of this rise and is just as excited to be lining up at her fifth Games as she was her first.

The 36-year-old mother of two has overcome so much adversity throughout her career but has continually bounced back to the top of the sport and now heads into PyeongChang having twice landed on the podium at last weekend’s Lake Placid World Cup events.

“I never dreamed of going to five Olympics or having a career this long,” said Lassila.

“I’ve learned so much about myself, endured set backs and celebrated the victories.

“I love my sport, I love my country and that’s what has kept me coming back.”

Fellow podium regulars Britt Cox and Scotty James both head to PyeongChang as World Champions and will no doubt be looking to help Australia continue its run of six straight Winter Games with an Olympic medal.

“Representing your country at the Olympic games is a very special feeling, so I’m really excited to be named on the Aussie Team,” said Cox.

“Australia has such a rich Olympic history both in summer and winter sports, so be part of that legacy is a huge honour. I’m really inspired by the culture that exists within this Aussie team, we all push, encourage and inspire one another and that fuels me within my own personal sporting goals.”

James, who competes in his boxing kangaroo gloves, is equally pumped to be part of the Australian Team that has so many world-class athletes.

“With respect to the two previous Teams that I have been selected on, I think that this Team promises so much not only in PyeongChang but into the future,” James said.

“We have many athletes doing really amazing things, who are competitive on the world stage almost every week of the season and the standard of their preparation just gets better.”

The first Australian athletes to compete will be the moguls men and women who line up in the qualifications in the final hours before the Opening Ceremony kicks off on February 9.

The athletes selected to the Australian Team for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games follow.

See the full 2018 Team HERE

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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