Why has Australia’s Olympic crew been in decline since Sydney 2000 and what ought to be accomplished to repair it?

The Sydney 2000 Olympic Video games was a defining second in Australia’s sporting historical past.

Maybe it was Cathy Freeman’s 400m victory or the lads’s 4x100m freestyle relay — 16 iconic gold medal moments made Sydney “the very best Olympic Video games ever”.

With a inhabitants of simply 18.2 million individuals on the time, Australia produced 58 medals, a feat no different growing nation had accomplished earlier than or since.

For the previous 4 Olympic video games, Australia’s place on the medal tally has declined considerably, falling as little as tenth place in Rio 2016.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed Brisbane as most popular host of the video games in 2032, giving the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) an 11-year runway to overtake its excessive efficiency sporting system.

Sport plan for Brisbane 2032

Chelsea Warr, the previous director of efficiency with UK Sport, was a key determine behind Nice Britain’s success in London 2012 and Rio 2016.

“In 1996, [Great Britain was] thirty sixth on the medal desk and by the point London 2012 rolled round after which onto Rio 2016, [we were] second on the medal desk,” she stated.

The QAS has appointed Ms Warr to extend Australia’s medal-winning probabilities for Brisbane 2032.

“The chance to host and maintain a house Olympic Video games everyone knows is simply transformational — not only for the state however for the nation — and the eyes of the world shall be watching,” she stated.

Headshot of Chelsea Warr
The QAS has appointed Chelsea Warr to extend Australia’s medal-winning probabilities for Brisbane 2032.(

ABC Information: Mark Leonardi


Ms Warr has gathered the very best minds in sports activities excessive efficiency to develop a recreation plan for the following 11 years.

“If we have a look at the profile of medal winners from Rio of the Australian crew, 75 per cent of them have been already ranked high 10 on this planet 4 years earlier than Rio,” she stated.

“We have to be actually prepared by 2028 in actual phrases if we will have a extremely good dwelling video games in 2032.”

Promising younger expertise

Athletes like skateboarder Haylie Powell have already been recognized as promising younger expertise.

At 15 years outdated, Powell may probably debut alongside her sport on the Tokyo video games later this 12 months.  

Headshot of Skateboarder Haylie Powell
At 15, skateboarder Haylie Powell may probably debut on the Tokyo video games later this 12 months.(

ABC Information: Mark Leonardi


The younger Olympic-hopeful shall be 26 in 2032 and stated “it would be actually cool as a result of [Brisbane is] solely an hour from my home”.

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Brisbane skateboarder Haylie Powell has been recognized as promising younger expertise at 15 years outdated.(ABC Information)

The optimum medal-winning age varies from sport to sport and Ms Warr stated setting targets had been a giant focus.

“How outdated do you really have to be with the intention to develop in time, within the timeframes to turn out to be a world beater by 2032?” she posed.

Wheelchair basketballer Jordan Bartley is already 26 years-old however may nonetheless be enjoying effectively into his late 30s.

“It is fairly unbelievable if you concentrate on it — there’s nothing fairly like enjoying on your own home soil in entrance of your loved ones and buddies,” he stated. 

Wheelchair basketballer Jordan Bartley
Jordan Bartley is already 26 however may nonetheless be enjoying effectively into his late 30s.(

Provided: Queensland Academy of Sport


However athletes are simply step one of the high-performance puzzle.

Want for robust mentors

The QAS will launch a two-year scholarship program later this 12 months to start fostering Australia’s future coaches.

Benn Lees has been teaching elite water polo in Australia for nearly 30 years, however fears younger up-and-coming coaches might be falling by way of the cracks within the present system.

“It is one thing that we now have recognized at a state degree right here in Queensland that we have to actually work to develop a powerful mentor program,” he stated.

That was how Mr Lees learnt his craft within the early days, primarily based out of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.

Headshot of Water polo coach Benn Lees
Benn Lees has been teaching elite water polo in Australia for nearly 30 years.(

ABC Information: Brittney Kleyn


The QAS can also be making an attempt to hunt out the following era of sports activities practitioners, the very best minds in sports activities medication and science, to optimise athlete improvement and efficiency.

“All of them work collectively like a Method 1 crew across the athletes and the coaches to allow them to optimise their performances,” Ms Warr stated.

Early expertise identification

The QAS has additionally employed Australian skilled seaside volleyball participant and Olympic gold medallist Natalie Cook dinner final 12 months as its director of elite success and partnerships.

Cook dinner was born and raised in north Queensland and has already been touring the area with Ms Warr, as a part of the QAS’ early expertise identification program.

Beach volleyball player Nat Cook serves at a match at London 2012 Olympic Games.
Australian seaside volleyball participant Nat Cook dinner competing on the London 2012 Olympic Video games.(

Reuters: Marcelo del Pozo


Taking a look at new sports activities

The QAS can also be seeking to establish sports activities not but on the Olympic agenda, with the IOC prone to change the portfolio once more, earlier than 2032.

Skateboarding, BMX freestyle and browsing are among the many new sports activities to debut in Tokyo.

“What we’re seeing is the introduction of a whole lot of what they name these motion sports activities … which is to attempt to interact extra of a youth enchantment to the Olympics going ahead,” Ms Warr stated.

She stated the issue could be adapting to those new sports activities, which traditionally had developed athletes by way of an natural, self-coaching mannequin.

“We watch the Youth Olympics fairly fastidiously to see what is likely to be on the horizon, so for instance we all know that top diving is likely to be a kind of sports activities that come on sooner or later,” Ms Warr stated.

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