Page 17 - Touchline No.35
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 The Matt Caroll interview  THE JOURNAL OF SPORT,  LEISURE & RISK  WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE  November 2021


 Exclusive Touchline Interview with   performance on the      medals and 3 bronze at these Games




 Matt Carroll,   one hand and, equally                        etched her place in the record books. Her
                                                              career tally makes her our greatest ever
            importantly, the attitude and
                                                              Olympian. That happened at these Games.
            approach of the team to the
 Australian Olympic   unique circumstances of the             But stepping away from the medals and
                                                              results, the Team culture was outstanding.
            Games?
                                                              They were unified and cohesive. They were
 Committee CEO.   A. We competed in 33 sports with a Team  were very grateful for the opportunity to
                                                              thrilled just to have got to Tokyo and they
                                                              perform. Australia is very proud of them all.
            comprised of 53% female competitors and
            47% male. That’s a new high mark to have
            so many Australian women represent their          Q. Attention now moves
 In an exclusive interview following the Australian team’s   country at an Olympic Games. We also   to the 2022 Winter Games
 magnificent performance in Tokyo, Touchline caught up with CEO   selected 16 Indigenous athletes to Tokyo,
 of the Australian Olympic Committee, Matt Carroll AM, to get his   another record – with the great Patrick   in Beijing. Are the current
 thoughts on the team’s achievements and where to from here.   (Patty) Mills becoming our first Indigenous   geopolitical tensions
            Flag Bearer. Cate Campbell became the             between Australia and China
 Q. How would   And yes, it was a challenge for the AOC   first female swimmer to carry the Flag in
 you describe   to send nearly 1,000 athletes and support   an Opening Ceremony. Because the Team   a concern for the AOC and,
 staff to a Games during a pandemic and
 the Games and   bring the team home safely through   could not really mix with other countries   if so, what impacts may the
            due to COVID protocols, they turned to
 what Japan   quarantine across six jurisdictions without   each other – athletes from all the different   current situation have on the
 and Tokyo   one positive COVID result.  sports mixing together far more than in   Australian team?
 were able to   The friendly time zone and the difficult   previous Games.   A. We have no concerns at all. Our Team
 deliver?  circumstances in Australia with the   We made the Village setup particularly   is focused on performance and following

 pandemic meant the Games shattered   homely for them, right down to an in-  the rules that will keep them safe in Beijing.
 A. They were certainly a Games held in   television and digital records. Australians   house barista. They were very proud of it.   The Playbook COVID rules are out now, so
 challenging circumstances. Challenging   embraced the Games in quite an   And the scoreboard read well for us too.   we know how to keep our team safe and it
 for our hosts, Japan, to whom we   extraordinary way. All that hard work   The total of 17 gold medals equalled the   will be very similar to Tokyo.
 are extremely grateful. They held a   undertaken by everyone was certainly   previous high and the total medal tally of
 magnificent event without the Japanese   worth it.       46 was our third highest ever. In all, 99   Athletes aren’t an extension of foreign
 people being able to attend. That was   of those 486 athletes came home with a   policy. They are athletes and they are
 immensely disappointing for them   Q. Australia was   medal, an inspiration to 99 communities   competing against the world’s greatest
 because the Japanese people love sport.   represented by the largest   across Australia. The Team won gold   winter athletes in Beijing. We have high
                                                              hopes for our team and we want to give
 team at an off-shore Games   medals in the new events including   them every opportunity to perform on
 It was challenging for the athletes to   skateboarding and BMX freestyle and of
 prepare for and qualify for these Games.   and it would be difficult   course Emma McKeon with her 4 gold   their day.
 But they showed great determination and   to identify a team that has
 resilience. From an Australian perspective,   represented this country
 the athlete feedback has been
 extraordinarily positive. They bonded as   with greater distinction,   We competed in 33 sports with a Team comprised of
 a team and loved the experience. Even   modesty and gratitude.   53% female competitors and 47% male. That’s a new high
 those who did not achieve their own goals   What are your reflections   mark to have so many Australian women represent their
 have observed that the Tokyo Games   on the Australian team’s   country at an Olympic Games”.
 were a wonderful experience.



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