Olympic dream a reality for Australia’s PyeongChang Team
8 February 2018
PYEONGCHANG 2018: Members of the 2018 Australian Olympic Team have kicked off what they all hope will be a successful Olympic campaign today, as they watched the raising of the Aussie flag at the PyeongChang Olympic Village.
The Aussies were escorted by a traditional Korean marching band to the Official Team Welcome Ceremony at the PyeongChang Olympic Village Plaza where each participating nation also had their national anthem played and presented gifts to the village’s mayor.
Following the ceremony Olympic debutant Casey Wright, who is part of Australia’s six-strong Cross Country skiing team, said that it was “starting to sink in, where we are and what we’re about to do”.
“I’m just going into this with an open mind and just hoping to ski as fast as I can and finish the race knowing that I left everything out on the track,” the 23-year-old said.
“There’s not many World Championship events where you get to have these opportunities, especially to have it with other countries as well is very unique.”
Harley Windsor, Australia’s first Indigenous Winter Olympian, said that arriving in PyeongChang made his debut Olympic campaign feel real.
“I’ve got butterflies in my stomach, I’m really excited to be here,” the 21-year-old said.
“There’s been a lot of ups and downs through this journey here and while it’s been hard it’s great to finally be here. It’s starting to feel like a reality.”
Windsor and his Figure Skating partner Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya will compete in the pairs event at the 2018 Games, and the Junior World Champions will head into the Olympic competition hoping to lay down two clean skates.
“Our aim is simple, we’re hoping to skate two clean programs in our short and free and improve on our best,” Windsor said.
“We’ve just come from Japan where we’ve had our heads down and training like we would for any other competition.”
Following the Team Welcome Ceremony, 2018 athletes will head to a Team Reception event where the Opening Ceremony flag bearer will be announced.
“I think it’s going to be really exciting. If it’s anything like this event then it’s going to be great fun,” Wright said.
The XXIII Olympic Winter Games will be held for 17 days from 9 to 25 February, where 51 Australian athletes will compete across 10 sports including: Alpine Skiing, Bobsleigh, Cross Country Skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Figure Skating, Luge, Snowboard, Short Track Skating, Skeleton and Speed Skating.