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Commonwealth of Australia
Location on Map
|Years Hosted Olympics|| 1956 (Melbourne)|
|Years Attended Olympics|| Summer: All|
Winter: 1936, 1952-2014
|Medals 2012 Summer||8 gold, 15 silver, 12 bronze|
|Medals 2014 Winter||0 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze|
|Total Olympic Medals|
|National Olympic Committee|
|Australian Olympic Committee (AOC)|
Australia has sent athletes to almost all editions of the modern Olympic Games. Australia has competed in every Summer Olympic Games, and most Winter Olympic Games, the latter each time since 1952. The Australian Olympic Committee was founded and recognised in 1895. Edwin Flack was the first athlete to represent Australia at the Olympics. He won gold in both the 800 metres and the 1500 metres of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. In 1908 and 1912 Australia competed with New Zealand under the name Australasia. Their kit is yellow and green.
Australia hosted the Summer games twice. In 1956 in Melbourne and in 2000 in Sydney finished 3rd and 4th in the respective medal counts. In the Summer Olympics since 2000, Australia has placed 4th, 4th and 6th, respectively. Given Australia has a population of only around 20 million people (ranked 53rd in the world) this fact is frequently cited as noteworthy by the mainstream Australia media. However, other observers have suggested this may be a result of the generous funding the Australian Government has invested into elite sports development with the specific intention of improving performance at the Olympic games.
Many of Australia's gold medals have come in swimming, a sport which is popular in Australia, with swimmers from Dawn Fraser to Ian Thorpe ranking amongst the sport's all-time greats. Other sports where Australia has historically been strong include:
- field hockey, with the women's team winning three gold medals between 1988 to 2000 and the men's team winning in 2004;
- cycling, particularly track cycling;
- equestrian events and specifically the three-day teams eventing;
- and sailing.
Australia takes international sporting competition, particularly the Olympics, very seriously, and provides much government funding and coaching support to elite athletes, partly through the Australian Institute of Sport. Australia has been more modestly successful in the track events at the games, particularly in modern times. Historically, Betty Cuthbert is Australia's most successful track athlete. Cathy Freeman won a gold medal in the 400 metres at the 2000 Sydney games.
Australia did not win a medal at the Winter Olympics until 1994, but has moved higher on the medal tallies since then (ranking 13th at Vancouver 2010). This is a reflection on increased funding of Australia's Olympic Winter Games team.
Medals by Summer GamesEdit
|1904 St. Louis||2||0||0||0||0||–|
|1908 London||29||as part of Template:FlagIOCteam||11|
|1932 Los Angeles||12||3||1||1||5||10|
|1956 Melbourne (host nation)||314||13||8||14||35||3|
|1968 Mexico City||175||5||7||5||17||9|
|1984 Los Angeles||240||4||8||12||24||14|
|2000 Sydney (host nation)||630||16||25||17||58||4|
|2016 Summer Olympics||424||8||11||10||29|
|Total (AUS)||5,332||147||163||187||497|| 26
Medals by Winter GamesEdit
Medals by sport (both Summer and Winter)Edit
These totals do not include eleven medals won by Australians competing for the combined Australasia team in 1908 and 1912: nine by individuals, one by an exclusively Australian team, and one by a combined team.
Most Famous Australian AthletesEdit