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Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) CEO Peter Conde said the success of the Australian team at the Tokyo Olympic Games is a testament not only to our outstanding athletes and coaches, but also the collaboration and teamwork within the nation’s high performance sector.

Australia finished the delayed Games in Japan sixth place on the medal tally and equalled the country’s best ever Olympics in Athens 2004 by winning 17 gold medals, as well as seven silver and 22 bronze.  An amazing achievement for a nation of our size.

The achievements from Tokyo included Australia’s best performance in the pool since 1956, inaugural medals in skateboarding, surfing and BXM Freestyle, the first beach volleyball medal since the Sydney Games, the end of a three-decade medal drought in men’s boxing, the Boomers first ever medal in basketball and some outstanding performances and medals in Athletics.

“This is an historic result for sport in Australia and I would like to congratulate every athlete, coach and performance support staff member for an inspirational 19 days in Japan,” Mr Conde said.

“Never before has there been a Games surrounded by so many challenges and uncertainty. Our athletes showed incredible resilience and courage and I couldn’t be happier to see them rewarded by this success.

“Big lessons were learnt following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and I am proud of the leadership role the AIS has played in helping to unite the high performance sector and support our athletes. Podiums are a measure of success but so is having our athletes and teams as such an incredible source of pride and inspiration for the nation.

“The AIS Gold Medal Ready Program represents the wonderful legacy of Olympic sport, with more than 40 former Olympic and Paralympic gold medal winning athletes and coaches mentoring our current team in the lead up to Tokyo.

“The evolution and advancement of the inaugural National High Performance Sport Strategy, signed by all states and territory sporting bodies in 2018, has strengthened collaborative partnerships across the whole sporting sector and provided a collective vision for sport in Australia. I would like to thank all our partners in the National Institute Network for their hard work and contribution to the success we have seen in Japan.”

“It’s fantastic for the future to see that 13 of the record equalling 17 medals won featured at least one athlete making their Olympic debut. We also saw athletes such as Rohan Browning and Peter Bol make huge statements on the world stage, showing that their best is yet to come,” Mr Conde said.

“The future of Australian sport is looking bright and the AIS is proud to play a part in supporting our athletes as the focus turns to Paris and beyond. Through Federal Government investment, the AIS provides $14 million per annum in direct support to athletes through dAIS grants, and in the lead up to Tokyo. Thanks to the Australian Government, this funding will continue through to 2024, along with significant funding support for National Sporting Organisations to provide coaching, performance support, international competition, performance pathways programs and wellbeing programs, enabling the AIS to carry on supporting Australian high performance sport.”

“On behalf of everyone at the AIS, I would like to congratulate Matt Carroll as CEO and Ian Chesterman as Chef de Mission and the entire Australian Olympic Committee. There were many who doubted whether the Games could or should go ahead, and the work done by the AOC to get our athletes to Tokyo and keep them safe is extraordinary.  Their determination to provide an outstanding performance-focused environment at the Games was pivotal.

“While we will miss tuning in every day to see our Australian Olympians achieve the remarkable, the good news is that we are just over a week away from the start of the Paralympic Games. On behalf of the AIS, I wish all our Paralympians preparing for Tokyo good luck and we can’t wait to see you perform on the world stage.”

Source: AFTNN

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