Since 1936, “Sports-Made Island” in the Southern Hemisphere has been a regular guest at winter sports. With gold in the moguls and silver in the skeletons, the euphoria blossomed.
Australia competes in mixed curling at the Beijing Winter Games. “Down Under” won gold in the moguls by 23-year-old Zakara Antony. Scotty James won silver at the Snowboard Huff. Skeleton Jacqueline Narcot, a trained Brisbane athlete, won the silver medal. There is no spelling or clumsy confusion with Austria (á la “yes, there are kangaroos in Australia”) which is a logical consequence of the winter sports tradition, which is cultivated in the southern hemisphere on a distant continent. Australia’s team is 44 strong in Beijing, competing in ten games.
Of course, when you think of sports and Australia, your thoughts are quickly drawn to rugby, Aussie rules football, sailing, Melbourne tennis Grand Slam, Sydney 2000 (Kathy Freeman), surfing or the 2032 Games in Brisbane. But the country also expanded into winter sports (a sport for skiing since 1860) founded in 1998 by the “Olympic Winter Institute of Australia” and supported by one million dollars annually (with IOC “grants”). The first medals were won in 2002, and the “Aussie” is now represented in almost every field. The worlds are still missing only in ice hockey.
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