Olympic Review Part Five: Beyond Beijing 2022
When the Olympic Flame is extinguished at the Closing Ceremony of an Olympic Games, there are always mixed emotions. After 16 days of highs & lows and thrills & spills, the sudden realisation that 4, 8 or even 12 years of planning, hard work and sacrifice has come to an end, is always a jarring shock!
Some athletes will retire, others have unfinished business and are looking for their next level (or perhaps redemption), many are just not sure how they feel and need more time to reflect and process. It is the same for the coaches and officials, who are now looking forward and wondering what have I learnt and what comes next.
It's been a true privilege to serve as the Deputy Chef de Mission of this team over the last 18mths. I’m incredibly grateful for the trust people have given me, the openness, honesty, communication, teamwork, friendship and fun. I am also extremely thankful to everyone for giving their best, for bringing their full selves to their roles, for being accountable, and for rising to overcome every challenge and embracing every opportunity that enabled us to deliver positive outcomes for our athletes. Collectively we helped this team to become the best Australian Winter Olympic team that has ever represented our country! A breathtaking accomplishment.
To those who achieved personal bests, found something special within them, stood on the podium or won the ultimate prize - my sincere congratulations and fullest respect. What you have achieved is rare and very special. Relish it forever!
To all the athletes of the world who have now returned home, continue to seek excellence and inspire others to do so too. Pay it forward by helping others to also discover and unlock their passions and potential.
Sincere thanks must go to the Australian Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee, the Beijing Organising Committee and all the volunteers that helped make the 2022 Winter Olympics a huge success. We hold onto some amazing memories!
And so, we say goodbye to Beijing 2022 and turn our attention to the next quadrennial - Paris 2024 and MilanoCortina in 2026. I look forward with excitement and great hope for Australian sport, knowing that Brisbane 2032 is on the horizon, and what a huge opportunity this is for all Australian’s (particularly our next generation of young athletes and coaches).
Every Olympic Games provides single moments in time where unique experiences occur. I will never forget these Games, and all that was achieved and who I shared this all with. But now, we must step forward once again, with a desire to be even better tomorrow, than we were today.
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