Top 5 stories from 2017
2 January 2018
The momentum from Rio 2016 rolled straight on into 2017 with a number of Summer Olympians continuing to impress on the world stage. While in cooler climates, our Winter Olympic hopefuls ramped up their preparation for PyeongChang throughout the year as they secured more World Cup and World Championship medals than ever before.
Check out the top 5 Australian Olympic Team stories from 2017:
Western Sydney skater Harley Windsor and his Moscow-born partner Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya took the figure skating world by storm in 2017, winning Australia’s first Junior World Championship title in Taipei City, Taiwan in March. They also won gold at the Junior Grand Prix final in December, won their first senior gold at the Tallinn Trophy in November and won bronze at the Nebelhorn Trophy in September. To cap off a sensational year, they were among the first athletes selected onto the 2018 Australian Winter Olympic Team, where Harley will make more history as Australia’s first Indigenous Winter Olympian.
In August 2017 Australia was once again mesmerised by the sheer determination and ‘never-give-up’ attitude of 2012 Olympic Champion Sally Pearson. After a string of serious injuries which saw her miss out on the Rio Olympics, Pearson won 100m hurdles gold at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, in the same stadium she won Olympic gold five years earlier.
Snowboard fans jumped for joy last month when three-time Olympian Torah Bright made a successful return to Snowboard Halfpipe competition with two podium finishes on the North-American Cup circuit in mid-December. It was unknown if the 2010 Olympic Champion would vie for a spot on her fourth Winter Olympic Team, but her gold and silver medal at Copper Mountain confirmed she will aim to wear the green and gold at PyeongChang next month.
There was a lot of hype in April 2017 surrounding the new events proposed to make their Olympic debuts at the Tokyo 2020 Games. Two months later the new events were confirmed, with a number of mixed relays, a 3x3 basketball competition and a BMX Freestyle Park competition set to increase urban appeal and gender equality at the next Summer Games.
Another major story in 2017 was the announcement that a 19-year-old figure skater from Newcastle, NSW had secured an Olympic quota place for Australia for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Kailani Craine secured the ladies figure skating quota when she won gold at the Nebelhorn Trophy in October with a combined total score of 167.45 points. Craine went on to be one of the first athletes selected onto the Australian Team for next month’s Games, where she will make her Olympic debut at Gangneung Ice Arena.