Olympics Unleashed breaks 250,000 student milestone in special Torres Strait visit

Submitted by Jeff.Dickinson.Fox on Thu, 07/07/2022 - 16:20
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A NAIDOC Week Olympics Unleashed visit with 50 students in Thursday Island has created a remarkable milestone, with 250,000 students across the country having taken part in the program.

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Launched in Queensland in late 2018 and also available across New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Western Australia, Olympics Unleashed takes Olympians and aspiring Olympians into schools to inspire students, encourage resilience and goal setting through the athletes’ own Olympic journey.

As part of an AOC NAIDOC week visit to the Torres Strait, Yuin woman and racewalker Beki Smith (London 2012) and Dunghutti boxer Brad Hore (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004) shared their Olympic journey with Torres Strait students.

The 250,000 milestone has come from 1885 school visits, with more than 250 Olympians trained to deliver the program around the country. It also includes 25 000 students who received virtual Olympics Unleashed visits during lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

AOC CEO Matt Carroll was thrilled to see the schools program pass the quarter of a million milestone.

“This is a terrific milestone for the Olympic Movement in Australia and we are very proud to celebrate it in the northern tip of Queensland after launching the program in Brisbane,” Mr Carroll said.

“This marks 250,000 students who have heard first-hand the potency of building resilience, how learning to set goals can help them achieve things they may never have thought possible, and the importance in finding ways to overcome challenges – these are lessons students can apply no matter what their passion is.

“With the ten year green and gold runway into Brisbane 2032 to open later this month, these are invaluable lessons for young Australians that will play a role in building and delivering the opportunity of a home Olympics.

“Thank you to the state and territory governments for your ongoing support and commitment, that has made possible to take the Olympic spirit into classrooms across the country. We look forward to seeing the program grow further and continue to inspire young Australians.”

“Thank you as well to the Olympians for sharing your story and to the teachers and schools for your enthusiasm in welcoming the Olympic spirit.”

London 2012 racewalker and Yuin woman Beki Smith said it was a privilege to reach this milestone in the Torres Strait.

“The Olympic spirit is so powerful and sport is so uniting because it's the language that everybody speaks,” Beki said.

“To know that Olympians have been able to reach 250,000 young people across Australia is special, and it's a privilege to be a part of it.

“I want to leave the kids with two main things - one is to never give up and the other is that when you set a goal and you achieve it, set another goal straight away. Make sure you keep growing and building on that success, whatever field you’re in.

“It's crazy for me to be able to watch people like Patrick Johnson when I was at school, inspiring me and paving the way for me and now to being able to go into communities to share the same message. It’s such a privilege for me. I was pinching myself today, to be able to share something special with the kids on Thursday Island and I wouldn't have been able to do it if I wasn't an Olympian.”

Queensland Sport Minister and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement, Stirling Hinchliffe congratulated the AOC on the Olympics Unleashed student milestone.

“Taking Olympics Unleashed to the Torres Strait demonstrates the AOC’s strong commitment to sharing the Olympic spirit with all Australians, regardless of where they live in our vast nation,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“During NAIDOC Week, Olympics Unleashed is a terrific opportunity to inspire young Indigenous Australians through the power of sport.

“Queensland’s You For 2032 Olympic and Paralympic talent search is an important part of our decade-long green and gold runway to Brisbane 2032.

“We’ll be taking You For 2032 to the Torres Strait and the Northern Peninsula next year to support young Indigenous Queenslanders with potential and ambition to represent their country and state on the world Olympic and Paralympic stage.”

The program is free for schools - you can find out more and register for the program now.

AOC, Olympians and RAAF spread Olympic spirit in Torres Strait

Submitted by Jeff.Dickinson.Fox on Thu, 07/07/2022 - 14:53
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The AOC has celebrated NAIDOC Week with a special visit to the Torres Strait supported by their partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Basketball Australia and Indigenous Basketball Australia, running a free community basketball day and Olympians sharing their stories to inspire young locals.

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The RAAF transported six Olympians and four Indigenous Olympian Coaching Scholarship holders to Horn Island on a C-27J Spartan for two days of community and cultural interactions.

Thursday Island local and dual Olympic basketballer Danny Morseu was joined by fellow AOC Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) members and Olympians Patrick Johnson, Beki Smith, Kyle van der Kuyp, Olympic boxer and artist Brad Hore and AOC Athletes’ Commission member Rowie Webster, with AOC President Ian Chesterman and CEO Matt Carroll.

In an open community day, the four inaugural recipients of the Australian Olympic Indigenous Coaching Scholarship, supported by Toyota, and Olympians ran a basketball clinic for more than 50 young locals, with RAAF members also hitting the court before providing a BBQ for all attendees and their families.

Beki and Brad also delivered an “Olympics Unleashed” session, sharing their own Olympic journeys with the children to demonstrate the importance of goal setting and overcoming challenges to pursue whatever passion they may have.

As part of the day the RAAF took special guests on a flight over the Torres Strait. Kaurareg traditional owners Aunty Enid Tom and Barbara Miskin, were able to view their lands from a new perspective. Also on board were Olympians Patrick, Danny and Kyle, and AOC’s Chesterman and Carroll taking in the unique view of the Torres Strait from the back of the Spartan.

AOC President Ian Chesterman said this visit highlights the power of Olympic sport to inspire.

“It’s great to be here in the Torres Strait Islands to be able to bring Olympians into community, run the basketball day with Indigenous Scholarship coaches and work effectively with a new partner in the RAAF, showing what can be achieved with good teamwork to really make a contribution,” Mr Chesterman said.

“It’s so important we give kids the chance to dream – with Brisbane 2032 ten years away we’d love them to dream about those opportunities.

“Olympians are enormously powerful role models. They’re great in the way they give of themselves, the ideas they have and how they express themselves, they’re living breathing examples of what’s possible.

“It’s vital we have the IAC helping us as we work with our objective of reconciliation through sport. On this trip we had the IAC represented, our Athletes’ Commission represented. Together we will make real practical contributions to Torres Strait Islanders and other Indigenous communities right around the country.

“Our thanks to our partners, the RAAF, for helping bring this trip to life with our shared common objectives in our Reconciliation Action Plans,” Mr Chesterman concluded.

RAAF Deputy Air Commander Australia, Air Commodore Ben Sleeman led a team of RAAF personnel, including Avionics Technician, Leading Aircraftwoman Raba Nona whose family hails from Badu Island, and Indigenous Liaison Officers, to transport Olympians and coaches and help deliver the basketball clinic.

“It’s a pleasure for the RAAF to be up in the top of Australia,” Air Commodore Sleeman said.

“Thank you to Aunty Enid and the traditional owners of this land, it is a privilege to fly through the air and over the land and seas of this beautiful country.

“The Air Force is pleased to partner with the AOC on delivering this project, with a common focus on sport and fitness, combined with Indigenous strategy goals under our respective Reconciliation Action Plans.

“If you can see it, you can be it. That’s why we’re proud to be here in the Torres Strait community for this event.”

Dual Olympic basketballer and Torres Strait Islander Danny Morseu welcomed the guests to his traditional homeland.

“It gives me great pride to welcome the AOC, RAAF, IBA and my fellow Olympians to my home of Torres Strait Islands,” Danny said. “It’s historic to have the leadership of the AOC and the RAAF come up to the Torres Strait, it’s great for our community, this trip has given a great energy.

“It’s really good for our kids to be aware of the different pathways and that the Olympic movement is open to them. We want to see change and reform and the advancement of Torres Strait Islander people in this country, creating opportunities and pathways through sport – refereeing, administration, coaching, playing.”

“Wearing the green and gold is the proudest moment of my life as a Torres Strait Islander. Brisbane 2032 offers opportunities for people to understand us, come here and enjoy this beautiful environment. With tourism and pathways, working in partnership with government, to get some truly good outcomes for this region will be fantastic.”

AOC Indigenous Advisory Committee Chair and Olympian Patrick Johnson said sharing the Olympic spirit in Indigenous communities was powerful.

“Thank you to the community, we’ve had such a warm welcome,” Patrick said. “As soon as we got off that plane was just felt like we're home and that's always what we want to feel – that incredible sense that we belong.

“As a proud Australian and proud Indigenous man it’s really significant we can get to communities, because the Olympic Games is about having everyone involved. These visits showcase the Olympic Games and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is for everyone to be a part of and it's something that we should celebrate.

“We’ve had 60 known Indigenous Australians in the history of the Olympic Games and 16 at Tokyo. It’s great to look at the 10-year vision, look at Brisbane 2032 and the incredible opportunity.

“The 10-year runway is such an opportunity for budding athletes, not only as sports stars but every level of involvement. Seeing the Indigenous coaches here is fantastic and it shows the importance of having Indigenous people at every level of the Olympics and Olympic sport.”

12-year-old Carmen Dorante from Yam Island in the Torres Strait was inspired to chase her own Olympic dream.

“Basketball is my favourite sport, I’ve played since I was six and I want to be a basketball Olympian,” Carmen said. “My uncle Patty Mills played a lot, he worked hard to get there. I feel I can do what he can do.”

“I had fun today and learned a lot. I want to be playing basketball in the Olympics in 2032.”

You can find out more about the AOC’s Reconciliation Action Plan here.

#HaveAGo - Celebrating our ten year green & gold runway to Brisbane 2032

Submitted by admin on Thu, 07/07/2022 - 11:30
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The starters gun will fire on the green and gold runway to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Saturday July 23rd with the AOC inviting the community to “Have a Go” at Olympic sports.

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Brisbane’s South Bank will host the biggest Have a Go session from midday July 23rd and everyone is welcome from midday until 4.00pm.

The South Bank event is taking place with the assistance of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.

Celebrations are also being hosted by Gold Coast City Council and Sunshine Coast Council to mark the start of the green and gold runway.

The list of events can be found here.

The ten-year runway leading to the Games Opening Ceremony sees more than 30 major international sports events coming to Australia.

AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll says the celebration at South Bank will mark day one of the runway to Brisbane 2032 and features an array of different sports. He’s encouraging people of all ages to wear green and gold, try something new and have some fun.

“There will be Olympians and Paralympians on hand to encourage everyone to have a go. The focus is on participation and realising the great health and wellbeing benefits of trying a sport that suits your skills and ability. Everyone is different but there is a sport to suit every one of us.

“Sport can deliver great outcomes – making us all healthier and bringing communities together. This is day one! We don’t have to wait until the Games in 2032 to get involved. The 10-year runway already has the FIBA World Cup of basketball coming to Australia this year along with the World Road Cycling Championships and World Short Course Swimming Championships. Next year the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Rugby World Cup in 2027. There is something significant happening every year through to 2032,” Mr Carroll said.

Paralympics Australia (PA) will also celebrate the occasion by showcasing a range of Para-sports at the events in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

PA Chief Executive Officer Catherine Clark is encouraging people of all abilities to attend and says visitors will have a valuable chance to learn more about how Para-sport can build a more inclusive society.

“Whether you have a disability or not, involvement in sport can generate so many physical, mental and social benefits. We believe Para-athletes optimise the beauty of sport, not only because of their feats in competition but because of the way they can challenge perceptions of what is possible.

“This is a celebration and also a time to consider what is possible over the next decade. What an opportunity to meet some inspiring Paralympians, along with Olympic athletes, and to understand why it is so important to use sport as vehicle to challenge attitudes, shape perceptions and ultimately drive positive social change."

Brisbane 2032 President Andrew Liveris said one of Australia’s greatest assets is the cultural understanding that sport is central to our everyday way of life.

”Whether you’re an elite athlete, a social sports player, a young person participating in weekend competition, or an avid spectator, we understand the joy and benefits sport brings to our lives,” Mr Liveris said.

“That’s why sport will remain at the heart of our planning for Brisbane 2032. We encourage everyone to come and join in this year’s activities as we commence our decade of celebrating sport in Australia,” he said.

Weekend Wrap: Hull stuns in Beaverton, Aussies into week 2 of Wimbledon

Submitted by Miranda.Cunanan on Mon, 07/04/2022 - 15:06
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Tokyo Olympian Jessica Hull has stamped her name on the Australian record books for the 7th time after winning the mile in Beaverton, while four Aussies are into the second week of the Wimbledon singles draw.

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Tokyo debutant Jessica Hull has blazed her way into the history books, taking out the mile in Beaverton, USA, setting a new Australia Record. Hull crossed the finish line with a time of 4:19.89 to secure her name as Australian record holder in seven events.

The Australian team arrived at the Stockholm Diamond League with fire in their eyes, with Eleanor Patterson leading the charge for the green and gold contingent in with a win in the women’s high jump. The 26-year-old cleared 1.96m to take out the title, her first in the Diamond League.

In her return to the podium, middle-distance runner Catriona Bisset produced her best race of the season and third fastest ever, clocking a time of 1:58.54 in the 800m to place third overall. In the women’s 100m hurdles, Liz Clay took out the win with a blistering time of 13.03.


The Australian Diving team have shown great strength in their FINA World Championships campaign in Budapest over the past week.

Shixin Li claimed Australia’s first medal of the event, snatching the bronze in the men’s 1m springboard event. Li is the first male diver to medal at the World Championships in an individual event in 13 years.

Maddison Keeney and Annabelle Smith backed up the contingent’s campaign as they paired up for the women’s 3m synchronised springboard event. The duo claimed a bronze medal on the final day of competition, their first together at the World Championships. Keeney and Smith won their first Olympic medals six years ago at Rio 2016 in the same event.

After finishing 8th in his first Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020, Cassiel Rousseau continues to improve his form, finishing only 4.4 points outside of the podium in the men’s 10m platform event. Teammate Sam Fricker joined him in the final, finishing 10th overall.


After a successful European stint where they picked up four gold, three silver and four bronze medals across World Cups and Grand Prix’s, the Australian Shotgun team is back on home soil. The team included several Olympians including Rio 2016 gold medallist Catherine Skinner, Laetisha Scanlan and James Willet.

The Australian team returned to Brisbane for the Queensland ISSF Shotgun State Titles, which act as the final qualification event for the World Championships in Croatia in September.


Four Australians have advanced into the singles draws at Wimbledon for the first time since 1999.

Tokyo Olympian Ajla Tomljanovic is flying the Aussie flag on the women’s side, making it through to the round of 16 after a three-set thriller over 14th seed Czech, Barbora Krejcikova.

Alex de Minaur, Nick Kyrgios and Jason Kubler make up three of the 16 men left standing in the singles draw. Kubler is set to play his sixth match of the tournament after making it through to the main draw as a qualifier.

Tokyo Olympians populate the doubles draws, with Max Purcell/Matt Ebden into the round of 16 in the men’s doubles, with Ebden teaming up with five-time Olympian Sam Stosur in the mixed doubles.

Water Polo

The Aussie Stingers and Sharks concluded their 2022 World Championships campaign over the weekend.

The women topped their pool, but fell devastatingly short to host nation Hungary in the quarter-finals, 7-6. Despite being outside of medal contention, the women climbed their way back up the ladder to conclude their competition in 6th place. The Sharks were handed a tough draw, but ended their competition on a high with a thrilling 19-4 win over South Africa to finish in 11th place.

Cycling - BMX

Tokyo BMX Freestyle Champion Logan Martin has seen the podium once again in Brussel, Belgium this past weekend.

He won silver in the Freestyle Park event, behind France’s Anthony Jeanjean.


The Boomers remain undefeated in their FIBA World Cup qualifying campaign after three decisive victories against China (twice) and Japan.

Triple Olympian Matthew Dellavedova captained the team throughout the weekend, which included six Boomers debutants.


The Australian team were in full force at the Henley Royal Regatta in the United Kingdom over the weekend.

The men’s four took out the Stewards’ Challenge Cup, with three of the four rowers from the same outfit that were crowned Olympic Champions in Tokyo last year.

Jack Cleary and Caleb Antill took out the Double-Sculls Challenge Cup, with this pair forming one half of the bronze medal winning Quad Sculls crew in Tokyo.

Weekend Wrap: Mollie O’Callaghan stars with six medals at swimming world champs, World Record in mixed freestyle relay

Submitted by Jeff.Dickinson.Fox on Mon, 06/27/2022 - 14:25
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Australia’s youngest member of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team, Mollie O’Callaghan, has continued her meteoric rise on her FINA World Championships debut, featuring in a World-Record breaking effort to highlight the Olympic sports action.

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The gold rush has continued for 18-year-old freestyle Olympian Mollie O’Callaghan, adding three world championship gold medals to her two Olympic gold from Tokyo 2020.

At the FINA World Championships in Budapest she was part of a World-Record breaking swimming from Australia’s 4x100m mixed freestyle relay quartet with Madi Wilson, Jack Cartwright and Kyle Chalmers. They took two-hundredths of a second off the previous record that stood for three years, set by the USA.

Coached by Dean Boxall, Mollie outperformed Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) to win gold in the women’s 100m freestyle with a time of 52.67 seconds.

Earlier in the week Mollie also won gold in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay – the same event she won gold in at Tokyo 2020.

The Dolphins won a total of six gold, nine silver and two bronze medals in the pool for 17 total medals – second only to the USA.

Joining Mollie as Australian gold medallists in the individual events included Zac Stubblety-Cook in the men’s 200m backstroke, Kaylee McKeown in the women’s 200m backstroke and Elijah Winnington in the men’s 400m freestyle.

Full results here.


Mara Stransky has taken out gold in ILCA 6 in the 141st edition of Kiel Week in Germany.

For the first time she entered the ILCA 6 medal race as the leader, and she handled it with aplomb, sailing to a medal race victory and the gold medal.

Mara was delighted with today’s performance.

“This is my first proper win, so it hasn’t sunk in yet,” she said.


“My aim coming here was to work on consistency as that has let me down in the past, and so most of this win came from my starts. It was so hard to work out these conditions and so I just wanted to start clean and keep it simple.”

The entire Australian Sailing ILCA 6 squad (Zoe Thompson, Casey Imeneo, Elyse Ainsworth and Mara) made the medal race at Kiel.

“It is so phenomenal to have all of us in the medal race and I credit most of my ability to get around this racecourse from working with the other girls.


Fellow Aussies Tom Needham and Joel Turner were competing in the 49er class, and they finished one point away from a podium finish.

“It was a photo finish for third, fourth and fifth, so we didn’t know our result when we finished it was that close,” Tom said.

“It was so good to go out there and represent our country and our squad. We are a very close-knit 49er squad, and we work hard together and so very proud to represent the guys and everyone back at home.”


Four-time Olympian Edwina Tops-Alexander has won gold under the Eiffel Tower, where she rode Catenda to victory in the Prix Elle' CSI5* 1.45m class at the Global Champions Tour event.


She shared in the win with Tobias Meyer, riding Quintus-H, as they both finished on 26.28 seconds.

Canoe & Kayak

Jess Fox is on a roll, having claimed her third consecutive World Cup gold medal in the women’s K1 in the space of three weeks.

This latest win in Ljubljana posed an extra challenge as she had been feeling ill before her K1 final.

“Today’s been a bit emotional because it’s been a real mental battle, I was feeling really ill this morning and vomiting, so to actually make the final and then pull it out in the final and keep pushing to the finish, I’m so proud of that run, I can’t quite believe I won today,” Jess said.

“It wasn’t perfect, but often it never is, you’ve just got to keep composed and keep pushing.”


World no.3 Minjee Lee is on the verge of becoming the top ranked player on the LPGA Tour after finishing in a tie for second at the women’s PGA Championship in Maryland, USA.

Her quest for winning back-to-back Majors fell short by just one stroke, as Korean In Gee Chun won by finishing on 5-under.

Fellow Aussies Hannah Green (T-5th) and Stephanie Kyriacou (T-10th) recorded top 10 finishes, with Stephanie’s placing a Personal Best at a Major.

The next Major on the calendar is the Evian Championship, held 21-24 July in France.

Water Polo

The Stingers are quarter-finals bound and the Sharks are headed for a round of 16 clash as the competition shifts away from pool play at the FINA World Championships. 

The Aussie women’s team qualified direct to the quarter-finals as a result of topping their pool, in which they stamped their authority. Across their undefeated opening three matches against New Zealand, Kazakhstan and Brazil they scored 47 goals and conceded only 13.


An intriguing match-up awaits for the Sharks in the round of 16 against Italy after the Aussies finished third in their pool, with one win and two losses.

Catch the Sharks in action against Italy from 3pm AEST today and tomorrow from 5:30pm AEST will be the Stingers vs Hungary in the quarter-finals.

Read more here.


Dual-Olympic archer Ryan Tyack has led the Australian Archery Team at the Paris World Cup.


His best result came in the recurve men’s team as Peter Boukouvalas, Alex Smith and Ryan beat Brazil 5-3 in the first round. It brought on a matchup in round two against Korea, the best ranked team in the competition, to which the Aussies lost 6-0.

Artistic Swimming

Also at the FINA World Championships, 16-year-old Zoe Poulis came away with Australia’s best individual score – posting 72.4333 in the women’s solo free.

While Australia also entered into the women’s team highlight - Tara Bennett, Natalia Caloiero, Amelie Carle, Georgia Courage-Gardiner, Adelle Griffiths, Marnie Kennedy, Pam Kurosawa, Maria Nadezhdina, Milena Waldmann and Zoe - and scored 72.9667 to finish 13th overall.


The Australian men’s Volleyroos are in Sofia, Bulgaria competing as part of the second round of the Volleyball Nations League.

They claimed their first win of the season against the hosts in a tight five-set affair (21-25, 25-13, 25-22, 20-25, 17-15). It’s now off to Osaka, Japan for round three next week.


Rugby 7s

New Zealand hosted the Oceania Super 7s over the weekend, with both Aussie men and women finishing second overall behind the hosts.

James Turner was the tournament’s overall top scorer with nine tries, and he scored in a 29-19 upset of a near full-strength Fiji squad.


A post shared by AU 7s (@aussie7s)


The Aussie women managed to beat every team at the tournament except for the Black Ferns Ma 7s, who prevailed over Australia twice (17-12 and 26-5).

Read more here.


Nikita Hains and Emily Boyd are through to the women’s 10m platform final at the FINA World Championships after coming through qualifying yesterday.

The women’s 10m platform is on Tuesday 28 June from 3am AEST.

They are the first two Aussie divers to feature in competition at the world champs, with a full week of diving action ahead with 13 Aussies on show.

Read more here.

AOC launches “Have a Go Month '22” to celebrate Olympic Day

Submitted by Jeff.Dickinson.Fox on Thu, 06/23/2022 - 05:30
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Today is Olympic Day across Australia and the AOC is celebrating by launching “Have a Go Month '22” to encourage all Australians to try an Olympic sport.

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Have a Go Month runs from global Olympic Day 23 June to 23 July, which marks the start of the 10-year green and gold runway to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with 23 July exactly 10 years until the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Launching later today at Maribyrnong High with Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Harry Garside and triple Olympian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff, students will have a go at a range of Olympic sports and hear from the Olympians how having a go at Olympic sport changed their lives.

Australians can set their “Have a Go” goals, log their results at haveago.olympics.com.au, and be in the running to win prizes from Olympic Partner ASICS.

The AOC also launched a 10-year Digital Time Capsule, encouraging Australians, particularly school students to record and share their ideas on how they want to be a part of the Brisbane 2032 Games - from competing, to coaching, part of the medical team, performing at the Opening Ceremony, designing and building key infrastructure and volunteering.

The time capsule can be revisited prior to the start of Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games to reveal how many dreams and ambitions were realised.

AOC CEO Matt Carroll said Olympic Day is an opportunity to celebrate what the Olympics can do for Australia.

“Olympic Day is a chance to celebrate not only the 4315 remarkable athletes who have represented our country at a Games, but also the millions of Australians taking part and contributing to Olympic sport week in and week out,” Mr Carroll said.

“Olympic sport has wide-ranging benefits, from playing a crucial role in promoting physical and mental wellbeing, to building harmonious communities, enhancing personal development and creating national pride.

“The 10 year green and gold runway until Brisbane 2032 will only increase the opportunity to maximise the benefits Olympic sport brings to communities and will inspire the next generation of young Australians.

“Have a Go Month encourages all Australians to try their hand at an Olympic sport. With 45 member sports that suit all experience and capability levels, there truly is an Olympic sport for everyone.

“On Olympic Day I also want to acknowledge and thank our 45 member sports and the administrators, coaches, support staff and volunteers that are the heartbeat of sport in this country. Thank you for giving millions of Australians the opportunity to participate in and benefit from being involved in the Olympic sporting family.”

Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Harry Garside knows the importance of trying something new to reach new levels and unlock his own potential.

“I played pretty much every sport you can think of,” Harry said. “When you’re young you’re fearless, it’s the perfect time to have a go at a heap of different sports.

“I was always middle of the pack growing up, and when I started boxing I was really average. It wasn’t results, but the coaching and the environment that made me love sports.

“Even though I wasn’t great when I first tried boxing, it made me want to go back, work harder and get better. And when I look back now, that’s really a make or break moment.

“I was a young kid at seven, watching Grant Hackett in Athens in 2004, watching John Aloisi and Mark Schwarzer in 2005 qualify Australia for the Football World Cup – moments like these are seared in my memory and still inspire me. To bring home a medal from Tokyo, I was really happy to make that young kid proud, and hopefully inspire some other young kids out there to have a go as well.

“Who knows, kids out there having a go at a new sport today might be up there representing Australia in Brisbane in a decade.”

For 29-year-old Belle Brockhoff, having a go at snowboarding changed her life.

“As a kid I played soccer, tennis, gymnastics, tried swimming but hated it, and a lot of different winter sports, but as soon as I tried snowboarding I instantly fell in love,” Belle said.

“I was so obsessed, I would snowboard all day from the first lift to the last. I’d eat a quick dinner then go in the backyard, build some small snow features and be back on the board.

“I loved it so much, and spending so much time on the board I improved so quickly. I was 12 years old and knew I wanted to be an Olympic snowboarder.

“It’s so good seeing that passion when I do camps with young snowboarders now – they’re sponges who just want to learn and we all get so much out of sharing our love of the sport with them. Seeing they’re so present in those moments, enjoying having a go at something so exciting and life changing for me is really rewarding.”
As part of Olympic Day celebrations, athletes are visiting classrooms across Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT with Olympics Unleashed, while a special Olympics Unleashed TV episode is being shared with thousands of schools across every state and territory – featuring Winter Olympians Danielle Scott and Dave Morris, and Tokyo 2020 gymnasts Georgia Godwin and Lidiia Iakovleva sharing their Olympic journeys and importance of resilience to reach their goals with students in the 30 minute school special.

Click here to watch the episode of Olympics Unleashed TV from 12pm AEST.