Top Australian Sports Bodies Join Forces In Attempt To Improve Performance At Rio Games
Australia's leading Olympic sports organizations, the Australian Olympic Committee, Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Institute of Sport, "have joined forces for the first time to lift the Australian team out of the medal slump it experienced at last year's London Games," according to Nicole Jeffery of THE AUSTRALIAN. AOC President John Coates announced that key AIS personnel would be "embedded" in the Olympic team management in a bid to improve performance at the Rio Olympics in '16. AIS Dir Matt Favier "will serve as the deputy chef de mission for performance on the Olympic team," while AIS Chief Medical Officer David Hughes and Head of Sports Science Nick Brown "will serve the same role with the Olympic team." AOC CEO Craig Phillips revealed the budget to send the 2016 Games team to Rio had already been increased to A$18.8M ($18.1M), from A$16.1M for London (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/24). In Canberra, Lee Gaskin reported ASC Chair John Wylie said that "the partnership between the organisations was a natural progression to help give athletes the best possible preparation before the Olympic Games." Wylie: ''It's a long overdue review and tightening up of the system to make it more effective. It's time for the AIS to reinvent itself, and it's doing that" (CANBERRA TIMES, 10/23).
PARTY IS OVER: In Sydney, Jeffery wrote in a separate piece "the party is over" for Australia's Olympic athletes, with the AOC "banning alcohol as part of a crackdown on athlete behaviour at the 2016 Games in Brazil." The move "will particularly target athletes, such as the swimmers and rowers, who compete in the first week of the Games and traditionally party hard in the Olympic village through the second week, frequently disturbing team members." The new Australian Olympic team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller "has decreed that the Olympic village at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 will be an alcohol-free zone for Australian athletes as will the charter flight back to Sydney after the Games." Chiller said, "Athletes need to understand their responsibilities, so our village and the flight home will be dry" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/24).