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Page to lead first Pacific Games Team

25 November 2014

2015 PACIFIC GAMES: Australian Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page has been named Chef de Mission of the 2015 Australian Pacific Games Team. 

The Champion sailor will lead up to 67 Australians into our first appearance at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby from 4-18 July, 2015.

“Pulling on the green and gold at any time is exciting, however to represent Australia as a Chef de Mission is an amazing honour,” the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medallist said. 

“To lead an international team like this is an incredible way to further my career in sport.  

“Upon retirement I naturally made goals, one of which was to have a role like this at some point in the future. I'm very grateful how quickly it has come about.”

Earlier this year the Pacific Games Council announced Australia and New Zealand’s inaugural participation in selected sports on the 2015 Pacific Games program. 

In total, 28 sports and disciplines will be contested by 23 nations. The sports eligible for Australian entry are rugby sevens, weightlifting, sailing and taekwondo- with the Australian Olympic Committee assuming leadership over the Australian Team.

Like most athletes competing, Page will also have one eye on the Rio Olympic Games in August 2016, and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

“Any chance that the athletes can experience big competition pressure will help them prepare,” the 470 sailing class Champion explained. 

“An event like this emulates the Olympics, so it will give athletes a feel for what they will experience in 2016 and 2020.”

It will be a particularly useful experience for the Australian rugby sevens squads, who have set the date for an Olympic debut in Rio. 

With three Olympic campaigns behind him, Page knows what course he wants to chart. 

“I want to be able to create an environment with good communication and support for all the athletes and I want to remove any unnecessary distractions. I also hope to be able to lead by example in relation to Australian team values which we should all aspire to,” the 42-year-old said.

“As it is our first time participating, I think a successful Pacific Games will be one in which our Team operates well and learns from the experience. I would like to see the Team support running smoothly and the athletes having the opportunity to achieve their personal bests, whether it be high achieving results, or simply gaining valuable competition experience.”

In welcoming Australia and New Zealand to the 2015 Games this year, Pacific Games Council Chairman Vidhya Lakhan indicated a review will be carried out after the event to decide if the trial is successful.

“I think it would be fabulous to have Australian continue in the Pacific Games,” Page said of the event that attracts 3,000 participants.

“We live in a very special part of the world and I think it is a good thing to share cultures and our passion for sporting success with our neighbours.”

Page will be supported by AOC Sport Manager, Caylie Saunders as Deputy Chef de Mission. 

Taya Conomos

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