TEAM: Australia has now won 11 Olympic winter medals and has had an athlete on the podium at six consecutive Games.
Australia winning medals at the Olympic Winter Games dates back to Lillehammer in 1994 and that famous Short Track Speed Skating 5000m relay bronze to Steven Bradbury, Kieran Hansen, Andrew Murtha and Richard Nizielski.
Zali Steggall then showed the world that Australians can ski, with Slalom bronze at Nagano 1998.
In 2002 the gold rush began and gained global media attention. Bradbury won Australia’s first gold with an unforgettable ‘last man standing’ in a dramatic 1000m Short Track final at Salt Lake City. Days later Alisa Camplin spun her way to Aerials gold, and in to the hearts of the nation.
At Torino 2006, Dale Begg-Smith blitzed the Moguls competition and Camplin again delivered on the biggest stage with Aerials bronze.
Vancouver 2010 was Australia’s first Olympic Team of gender equality (20 men/ 20 women) and our most successful. In a Halfpipe just outside Vancouver Torah Bright won Australia’s first Snowboard gold and Lydia Lassila bounced back from a horrible injury at the 2006 Olympics to win the Aerials gold. Begg-Smith also won silver on the Moguls hill near where he learnt to ski.
At the Sochi 2014 Games on Day 5, Bright again delivered an exceptional run of tricks in the Halfpipe to win silver and get Australian on the medal table for the sixth consecutive Games. Bright now joins Dale Begg-Smith as Australia’s most successful winter Olympian with a gold and silver medal.
Bright’s fellow golden girl from Vancouver, Lydia Lassila, thrilled the nation when she won bronze in the women’s Aerial Skiing on Day 7 of the Sochi Games. Lassila attempted a quad twisting triple somersault with a degree of difficulty (DD) of 4.425, executed brilliantly in the air but slapped the landing and fell to the side for a score of 72.12 points to secure the bronze. It was the first time the trick was ever done by a woman, and Lassila became the first mother to win a Winter Olympic medal for Australia.
Australia’s Olympic Winter Medal Tally currently stands at:
Gold – 5
Silver – 2
Bronze – 4