Sports

12 Strange Discontinued Olympic Events

1 200M SWIMMING OBSTACLE RACE  Competitors had to climb over a pole, then scramble over a row of boats, then swim under another row of boats. Only ever held once, and Australian Frederick Lane won it, knowing that the stern was the best way to get over a boat. Last seen: 1900 2 PLUNGE FOR…

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Sports

It’s all in your head: Behind Table Tennis high performance

I was born into a table tennis family in Germany. My dad was a first Bundesliga (German professional table tennis league) player in the 1970s, and my brother also used to be a professional table tennis player. In Germany, it is a professional sport where you can make a living out of it. Essentially, I…

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Sports

Team Culture: The key to success

I first started playing at age 13 with Balmain before moving to Cronulla at 17. I played 1st grade from 1982 to 2002 with the Cronulla team, winning 5 national league titles and runner up in another 4. At one point, we won 10 Sydney 1st grade competitions in a row. With the national team,…

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Sports

The Value of the Mature Age Rookie

I started off playing AFL early on and then picked up basketball in school. I ended up with the choice of going down to North Melbourne to play AFL, or continuing with basketball. When I chose basketball, my dad didn’t talk to me for 3 months! T wo of my best friends went on to…

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Sports

Creating a World Class Team

My football career started as a junior representative in state teams and the Australian Schoolboys team before moving into the National Premier League level in NSW (one level below A-league). Unfortunately, with two knee reconstructions early on in my playing career at 21 and 24, I didn’t reach the heights I wanted to as a…

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Sports

From Olympian to Olympic Coach

I grew up in Dubrovnik, Croatia, a small town of around 50,000 people. Water Polo is a very big sport in Croatia and I played for JUG and Mladost (rival) teams as a left offensive player. With Mladost we won one Croatian Championship and Cup in 1993. I then returned to JUG where we won…

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Sports

Interview with Archery Australia Head Coach, Ya-Ping Shih

Ya-Ping Shih is a former champion archer herself, winning an individual silver and team gold medal at the 1999 World Archery Championships while competing for Taiwan. She was recruited to the top job in Australia in 2013 after coaching the Chinese Taipei team in 3 Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012). Why did you leave a…

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Sports

Peak Performance: It’s all in the planning

I was originally a rugby player for the Queensland Reds, and then went on to an international career that spanned 10 years. I played a lot of 7s throughout my career, competing in 20 tournaments for Australia and going to the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. I played in England for 6 years with Leeds…

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Sports

Selecting the right team for the job

I grew up in a family that was heavily involved in equestrian sports. My mother competed herself quite a lot and it was a family affair. Myself and my 3 older siblings all rode from an early age. I first went to Musgrave Pony Club, in Bundaberg, Queensland, and for most of that time my…

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Sports

Professional, skillful, ruthless: The Hockeyroos style

I started playing hockey when I was 5 in a small country town near Junee, NSW. We created a hockey pitch on a livestock reserve with the cows and sheep. I played there throughout primary school, then eventually moving to Sydney for boarding school at 16. While the boarding school was not particularly known for…

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Sports

Preparing for another fairytale ending

I was originally a diver myself for Mexico. I started off as a swimmer, but not being tall or fast enough, I moved onto diving in 1974. Swimming in Mexico is not fantastic, they don’t have big international results at all, but diving is completely the opposite. In diving, Mexico has always been very competitive…

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Sports

Rio Qualification Strategy: A new approach

As a kid, I got blown out of Darwin. My family lost our house to Cyclone Tracy in 1974, so we moved to Adelaide. At my first high school, my PE teacher was a volleyball nut, so I started playing, then made the U20s state team at age 16. If I had stayed in Darwin,…

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Sports

Rio’s road race the biggest challenge yet

I started competing in cycling at the age of 10. The youngest of a family of 4 boys, we were heavily into sports and all transitioned into cycling and racing in the 80s in NSW. W e were all quite talented and one of my brothers made it to Junior World Championship level. My nickname,…

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Sports

No Shortcut to Success

Growing up, my father was a rowing coach and I spent many years sitting in the coaching launch with him, eventually progressing from cox to rowing through school and in turn club. My own athletic pursuits, however, were rapidly overtaken as I found an affinity for coaching through picking up a part-time role with a…

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Sports

The Olympics are not a Utopia

With an Olympic Games, there are many distractions. I wasn’t really prepared for these when I went to my first Olympics in Barcelona, at 29 years of age. I didn’t know what to expect. It’s an enormous event. In the village, there are thousands of athletes from all different disciplines of sport, all different shapes…

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Sports

Gold Medals Start in the Mind

I got involved in volleyball by accident. I was a lanky, skinny, 6-foot-tall teenager, and was teased a lot for being much taller than everybody else. O ne night, my brother asked me to fill in at the local rec centre for an indoor volleyball team. “Come and stand on the court,” he said, “and…

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Sports

What it takes to follow the dream

I started playing at age 6 in the U10s at Coburg. My parents are Latvian and basketball is a significant sport there, so both my brother and I played from a young age with my dad coaching our junior teams. I progressed to club basketball for the St Kilda Saints juniors, where I also trained…

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Sports

Coping in the performance environment at the Olympic Games

It is well known that the Olympic Games present a challenging environment for athletes, coaches and officials. Although most sports conduct world championships and many participating teams understand the international performance environment and, importantly, the culture associated with their sport, the Olympic Games represent the next level of complexity. E ach event is located in…

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Sports

Bill Sweetenham: The Medal-maker

By Sarah Bailey and Stewart Fleming, CoachingLife Magazine Bill Sweetenham is not a quitter. Nor is he the shy, retiring type to quietly down tools and take up knitting instead. For Bill, it is evident that learning is a constant state. “I have no interest in sitting back and doing nothing”, he says, despite calling…

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Sports

For Best Results: Understand your athlete

I was formerly a 110m and 400m hurdler but hurt my knee playing Aussie Rules and had to have two knee reconstructions. I knew I was going to be in a bit of trouble coming back from the second reconstruction, and I’d always had coaching in mind as something I’d like to try later on…

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Sports

The Head Coach Role: It’s all about team

I was born and raised in the Netherlands, and have always been passionate about sport. As an athlete, I wasn’t great at it. I think I lacked talent, but I did love it and played a lot. The combination of my interest in human beings and the physiology behind sport took me to a sport…

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Sports

Fierce but fair: Australia’s sporting goals for Rio and beyond

AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMISSION – FIONA DE JONG, CEO I found my way into triathlons during University. At that time, I was studying a double degree in law and IT in an accelerated program at Bond University on the Gold Coast, and competing in triathlons at the same time. A s someone who like to do…

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Editor Choice

Editors Letter – Olympic Edition

  I f you have had the good fortune of seeing the movie, Eddie the Eagle, you will have seen first-hand how the Olympics can inspire an individual just by their existence. This is not an isolated incident, with many of the former Olympians sharing similar stories of childhood obsession and commitment. Those readers who…

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