Going Gold at Youth Olympics
01 Apr 2009
Team Great Britain has returned home triumphant from this year’s ‘Australian Youth Olympic Festival’, with a tremendous haul of 26 gold,16 silver and 26 bronze medals – 68 in total.
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Team Great Britain has returned home triumphant from this year’s’Australian Youth Olympic Festival’, with a tremendous haul of 26 gold,16 silver and 26 bronze medals — 68 in total.
Competing in temperatures of over 40 degrees celcius and against some top class opposition, these talented young athletes excelled in the rowing, hockey, archery, gymnastics, canoeing, fencing and equestrian events.
Commenting on the team’s outstanding achievement, Team GB’s Chef de Mission Mark England said: “When you look at these performances, the future is extremely bright, which means we’re in good shape for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.”
The event promotes the true Olympic ideals of fair play, honesty and pride, while celebrating all the cultures of the world within a festival atmosphere. It is hoped that the Youth Olympics will raise more sport awareness and participation among young people. It will also highlight the benefits of physical recreation for a healthy lifestyle, while engaging and inspiring young athletes to play an active role in their communities.
The Australian Youth Olympics is a bi-annual multi-sport event for young people aged between 13 and 19. Along with Great Britain, 23 other countries, including Argentina, Greece, India and South Africa, competed over five days in 15 disciplines.
Triathlete Sophie Gets Silver and Bronze
Team GB’s Sophie Coleman, competed in the Triathlon — a sport comprised of three disciplines. These are swimming, cycling and running, completed as one race and with no breaks in between!
Sophie, who is 18 years old, won the Silver medal in the individual race and a Bronze in the team event. “Triathlon is a tough sport,” Sophie told us, “and it requires a huge amount of dedication but this is one of the many reasons that I love it so much. I train 20 to 25 hours a week and up to four times a day, with just one day off a week.
“I’ve had the honour of representing my country several times in the past and this Youth Olympic event was my sixth opportunity to compete in the GB race suit. On the morning of my race, I woke up raring to go… We swam 750 metres in the lake and then cycled 20 kilometres, which is four laps and then we ran five kilometres… The race was very exciting and I gave it 100 per cent, crossing the line in second place — just 21 seconds behind the Australian in first place. I also recorded the fastest-run split of the day, beating many of the boys!
“Standing on the podium, I felt proud to collect my medal and thought of the previous athletes who had stood in the same spot, receiving the ultimate reward in sport — an Olympic medal. It is my hope to represent Great Britain in 2012 and these are steps towards achieving my ambition of an Olympic Gold. With the Games less than four years away, the time to get involved and be in sport could not be better.”
Team GB’s Medallist, Sophie Coleman, with Australian Olympic kangeroo mascot. Photo: © Sophie Coleman
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