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Oct 20 18

Paralympic swimming champion retires aged 21

by ZwemZa

Josef Craig of Great Britain won bronze in the 100m freestyle at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

Paralympic swimming champion Josef Craig of Great Britain has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of just 21.

Craig won gold in the S7 400 metres freestyle final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the age of 15.

He was awarded an MBE for this achievement.

The 2013 World Para Swimming World Championships in Montreal then saw him win two golds and a silver medal.

He competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympics with a different classification, having moved from S7 to S8, and won a bronze medal in the 100m freestyle.

This made him the first person to win medals at consecutive Paralympic Games after being reclassified, despite struggling with mental health issues in the run up to Rio.

Craig has chosen to retire to look for a new challenge.

“My reclassification a few years ago played no part in my decision to retire, for me it’s time for a new challenge and I know that if I apply myself in the same way I did to swimming and give it 110 per cent then I know I will be successful,” he said.

“I went through a lot and for a long time, I now want to use the platform and influence I have to help those facing mental issues.

“I want to use my journey as evidence that it is possible to turn things around no matter how bad a situation may appear.”

He now plans to study sport management at Northumbria University, as well as try his hand at coaching the future talents of swimming.

“I want to pass on my knowledge that I’ve picked up in the pool over the years,” he said.

“To be able to help individuals gain an important life skill and also go on to achieve will be really rewarding.

“I’ve had lots of experience under a variety of coaches and learnt how to and how not to coach people – I hope to be the right blend.”

Nancy Gillen | Inside the Games

Oct 20 18

How Cate Campbell shed her own ‘poster girl for failure’ tag and banished Rio Olympic demons

by ZwemZa

Cate Campbell has come back stronger after the bitter disappointment of her Rio Olympics performances. (AAP: Dave Hunt)

It might be as simple as a run of green traffic lights on her way to training in the early hours of the morning in Brisbane. Or witnessing a small act of generosity on the streets of Sydney.

These days Cate Campbell is always looking out for the good in life.

Easier said than done after the sporting trauma the two-time Olympic gold medallist suffered on the biggest of stages two years ago.

The 2016 Olympics were supposed to be a crowning glory for Cate Campbell but by her own description she “choked”. (Reuters: Dominic Ebenbichler)

The 26-year-old hit rock bottom after the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she finished sixth in the final of the women’s 100 metres freestyle final.

A final she was one of the favourites to win.

Photo: Cate Campbell was named Sportswoman of the Year and won Comeback of the Year at the Women’s Health Women in Sport awards this week. (Supplied: Paul McMillan)

The world record holder in the event buckled under the weight of a nation’s expectation. A simple text message of support from a friend informing Campbell they had booked out a boardroom at their office to watch her race had triggered unprecedented levels of anxiety.

“I remembered thinking this was bigger than just me,” she said later. “I was responsible for other people, I have to do this for other people as well.”

A slight mental distraction, in an event where the moments that matter are split into hundredths of a second, set off an unwanted chain of events that left Campbell without a medal, guilt-laden, “ashamed”, even questioning her future in the sport.

Two years on, things have changed. She is looking ahead to Tokyo 2020 with confidence not fear. The mental demons from Brazil are finally banished.

“There are a whole heap of physiological effects from simply switching your mindset,” said Campbell, whose recent return to form was rewarded with the honour of Sports Woman of the Year at Wednesday night’s Women’s Health Women In Sport Awards in Sydney.

“I have done a lot of work. I have worked with the sports psychologists and physiologists who work with the SAS.

“You think we have to perform under pressure … these guys have to perform under fire. They have to remain cool, calm and collected in the face of death.

“Either their own death or possibly killing someone else. That has been really eye-opening.

“I have found [focussing on] breathing has been really important but also simple things like finding things in life to be grateful for.

“This morning, I witnessed a random act of kindness. There was a businesswomen and she walked past a homeless lady and she gave her a cup of coffee.

“It doesn’t just make you feel better, it helps with your brain chemistry and it does wonderful things.”

Signing-off on the past

The two-time Olympic gold medal winner was subjected to waves of online criticism in the aftermath of Rio. It led her to taking some time away from the sport.

“I have discovered that for longevity in your career, you need to take breaks,” said Campbell.

An emotional open letter she wrote earlier this year played an important part of the healing process, an act of catharsis as well as defiance against those who sought to question her commitment.

In it she highlighted some of her own overwhelming disappointment, independent of outside critiques, as well as addressing some of the more poisonous accusations.

Cate Campbell claimed three gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, including the 50m butterfly. (AAP: Darren England)

“For future reference, when you see someone choking, it’s not because they don’t care,” she wrote.

“It’s because they care too much.”

It was there, too, that she branded herself “a poster girl for failure”.

Given what she’s been through, Campbell says winning Wednesday night’s Comeback of the Year, in addition to the event’s top gong, was uniquely satisfying.

“I think that often athletes are our harshest critics, so to have other people recognise you for achievements that you may not quite see yourself, can be really helpful,” she said.

“Definitely, I feel like I have made a comeback, I went out into wilderness of real life for a little bit but I decided to come back to elite sport and give it a real go.

“Over the past year I have really leaned on a lot of people for support.”

A new mindset

Speaking via mobile phone from Sydney airport, the noisy public address in the background doesn’t interrupt Campbell’s clarity in assessing her stand-out year, which included a return to the top of the podium at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

“It has showed me that whatever I am doing, it is working,” said Campbell, whose bright and enthusiastic tone cuts through the noise.

She won three gold medals on the Gold Coast in April, although she did finish runner-up to her sister Bronte in a shock result in her main event, the 100 metres freestyle.

She later claimed five gold medals at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo in August, including an all-important individual 100m freestyle win, and swam the fastest relay leg of all time in the women’s 4x100m at the Pan Pacs, clocking 50.93 seconds to anchor the Australian team to a memorable victory.

“I still don’t quite believe that that actually happened,” she says.

“It was one of those swims that I hit the wall and I knew I had done a good job.”

Campbell will move to Sydney in January, to work alongside long-time Coach Simon Cusack as preparations for Tokyo 2020 get serious.

Cate and Bronte Campbell after the final of the women’s 100-metre freestyle in Rio. (AP: Lee Jin-man)

“It is going to really be head down, staring down at the black line again,” said Campbell, who will be joined by Bronte in the move.

Campbell says the possibility of the perfect race keeps her motivated.

“I have been swimming for over 12 years now, I can probably count on one hand the number of races that have ended up like that,” she says.

While it’s impossible to predict what will happen in Tokyo, a stronger and more balanced Campbell will be on the starting blocks this time.

Expectation will follow her to Japan as it did to Brazil. But it is no longer likely to weigh her down in the water.

Patrick Galloway | abc.net.au

Oct 20 18

Buenos Aires 2018 in numbers

by ZwemZa

With the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Buenos Aires 2018 coming to an end, we take a look at some of the incredible facts and figures from the Games.

215,000
The number of people who flocked to Avenida 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires to experience the first-ever Olympic Opening Ceremony to be held in the streets of a city

4,000
The number of young athletes who competed in Buenos Aires

50
The percentage of female athletes participating – the first time in Olympic history that a Games edition has enjoyed full gender equality

206
The number of National Olympic Committees represented at the YOG

 

IOC

141
The number of athletes representing host nation Argentina – the largest delegation at the Games

1
The number of athletes representing the Cook Islands, with swimmer Bede Aitu comprising the smallest delegation at the YOG

1 million
The number of spectators who attended Olympic events throughout the YOG

10.15
The time in seconds it took for South Africa’s Luke Davids to win the men’s stage two 100m race – the fastest time ever recorded at the YOG

IOC

550
The amount of live streaming hours offered by the Olympic Channel during the YOG

5
The number of gold medals won by Japanese gymnast Takeru Kitazono as he topped the podium in the men’s floor exercise, rings, parallel bars, horizontal bars and all-around

14
The number of combined medals won by Russian swimmers Kliment Kolesnikov and Andrei Minakov, with each winning six golds and one silver in the pool

79
The incredible number of shots played in a seemingly never-ending badminton rally between Japan’s Kodai Naraoka and India’s Lakshya Sen

IOC

8,000
The number of plates of food that were served in the dining hall of the Youth Olympic Village four times a day

7,000
The number of pizzas eaten in one night when the dining hall added the dish to its menu

200,000
The number of schoolchildren who were able to experience the YOG thanks to Buenos Aires 2018’s “The School goes to the Games” programme

1,200
The number of cultural and educational activities on offer to fans across all YOG venues

olympic.org

Oct 19 18

Natalie Coughlin becomes a Mom

by ZwemZa

Natalie Coughlin poses for a portrait at the USOC Rio Olympics Shoot on Nov. 21, 2015 in Los Angeles.

Natalie Coughlin is a three time Olympian, a 12-time Olympic medalist and, as of Tuesday, also a mom.

Coughlin and husband Ethan Hall announced the birth of daughter Zennie Mae in an Instagram post on Thursday.

“Crazy couple of days!” she wrote, accompanying a picture of the newborn in matching pajamas and a cap. “Introducing Zennie Mae, born on October 16th. Couldn’t be happier and can’t wait to get to know her.”

Coughlin’s mother is also named Zennie.

Motherhood is the latest chapter for Coughlin, one of the most accomplished swimmers of all time.

After winning five medals at her Olympic debut in Athens, Coughlin won six in 2008 in Beijing, which is a record for a woman at a single Olympic Games. With one more medal in 2012 in London, Coughlin reached 12 total medals, tying her with fellow Americans Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for the most decorated female swimmer at the Olympics and the most decorated U.S. women at the Olympics.

Coughlin, who turned 36 in August, hasn’t officially retired from swimming, though she hasn’t competed since 2016, when she fell short of making a fourth Olympic team.

She’s had plenty to occupy her time since then. Throughout her long career, she’s publicly shared her passions for cooking and gardening, competed on “Dancing with the Stars” and, more recently, tried her hand at broadcasting for NBC Sports and started a small wine label.

It was through the latter that the couple announced Coughlin’s pregnancy in another Instagram post in June. In a post showing a pinot noir that had just been bottled, she noted the wine wouldn’t be released until fall, “which is perfect because I can’t drink for the next few months.”

Chrös McDougall  | USA Today

Oct 19 18

SA Youth Olympians not playing games in Buenos Aires

by ZwemZa

Michael James Houlie of South Africa prepares for the swimming Men’s 100m breaststroke final at the Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires. Photo: EPA/Joel Marklund

The South African team will return from the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires with a few firsts and a handful of medals.

Their campaign was successful, improving their medal tally from the previous Games with three golds, a silver and bronze.

The team won just one medal at the 2014 Games in Nanjing, China, courtesy of Gezelle Magerman’s gold in the 400m hurdles.

While it was nowhere near the 11 medals from the inaugural 2010 Singapore Games, the class of 2018 won the most gold medals.

Triathlete Amber Schlebusch, swimmer Michael Houlie and sprinter Luke Davids all claimed gold, while rising swimming star Dune Coetzee and shot putter Dane Roets won silver and bronze.

Gutsy Durban Girls College pupil Schlebusch laid the foundation when she won South Africa’s first Youth Olympic title in the swim-cycle-run event on the first day of the Games. The 17-year-old produced a stunning run leg, fighting from almost a minute behind for victory.

 Amber Schlebusch of South Africa winning the women's triathlon at the Youth Olympic Games, in Buenos Aires. Photo: EPA/Jed Leicester

Amber Schlebusch of South Africa winning the women’s triathlon at the Youth Olympic Games, in Buenos Aires. Photo: EPA/Jed Leicester

Then Houlie become the first swimmer of colour to win an individual medal in the pool at a major multi-sport event by bagging 50m breaststroke gold. The Bishops matric learner lowered the SA age-group records in both the 50 and 100m breaststroke at the Games.

Parow High School pupil Luke Davids rounded off SA’s campaign by winning the country’s first gold medal in a sprint event at the Youth Games. He won both stages of the 100 metres, blitzing to victory in his final race in a wind-aided 10.15 seconds after setting up victory in the first stage with a 10.56 – 0.20sec faster than his nearest rival.

Earlier, Coetzee became the first SA female to win a swimming medal at the Youth Olympics by winning 200m butterfly silver. She posted a new SA age-group record of two minutes, 11.71 seconds after finishing second to Hungary’s Bianca Berercz (2:10.37).

The final night of athletics action could easily have produced more medals with men’s javelin thrower Jano Esterhuizen and men’s one-lap hurdler Lindokuhle Gora going into their respective second stages as resounding medal favourites.

But Gora was disqualified for a lane infringement, while Esterhuizen could not repeat his massive 77.69m first throw and finished eighth.

The Star

Oct 19 18

Katie Ledecky preps to conquer fresh Olympic challenges in new suit

by ZwemZa

The swimsuit Katie Ledeckyplans to wear in races through the 2020 Olympics is called the Venzo.

“It means ‘I conquer’ in Spanish,” Ledecky said.

Fitting. Ledecky, one of the world’s most dominant athletes, discussed the new suit from her sponsor, Tyr, in a recent phone interview and reflected on her performance at August’s Pan Pacific Championships, her first major international meet as a pro.

Ledecky earned three golds, a silver and a bronze at Pan Pacs in Tokyo. But at the meet she expressed dissatisfaction with her times and acclimation to the 16-hour time difference after arriving in Japan four days beforehand.

Ledecky said last week that it marked the most difficult circumstances under which she has raced at a major international meet.

She was beaten by younger swimmers for the first time (Canadian Taylor Ruck and Japanese Rikako Ikeein the 200m freestyle) and, also for the first time, failed to clock her fastest time for the year in any individual event at a major international meet (Olympics, worlds, Pan Pacs).

“I was really happy with how I swam under those circumstances,” Ledecky said, noting her 4x200m free relay split of 1:53.84, faster than Ruck and Ikee and her second-fastest ever after a 1:53.74 in Rio, and her fifth-fastest 800m free. “A lot of good takeaways. The biggest one is the challenge we had in front of us and what we experienced. In some ways I’m happy we experienced that. Hopefully, I’ll learn from it.”

Ledecky continues to live at Stanford after turning pro following her sophomore season for the Cardinal. She still trains with Stanford team swimmers, though she is no longer eligible to compete collegiately. That means she’s sharing the pool with one of her new rivals, Ruck, a freshman on the team.

“We don’t overlap too much, thus far at least,” Ledecky said. Ruck swims the 100m and 200m frees and the 100m and 200m backstrokes. “She kind of comes up to the 200m [in training], and I kind of come down to it from the mile. It provides me some extra motivation having her next to me, and I would hope it does the same for her.”

The 200m free has been the most competitive of Ledecky’s four primary events (400m, 800m, 1500m frees, too). It should only get more interesting as the Olympics near with Ruck in the same training pool and Ikee looking like one of the host nation’s biggest stars. Both are 18 years old, three years younger than Ledecky.

“They’re only going to get faster,” said Ledecky, whose personal best of 1:53.73 from Rio is .71 faster than Ruck’s and 1.12 seconds clear of Ikee. “I really feel like I have a good future in that event. I know that because I have a 1:53 under my belt in an individual race, and I’ve been 1:53 on a relay at Pan Pacs [one day after the individual 200m free].”

When Ledecky took that 200m free bronze at Pan Pacs (just her second defeat in a major international individual final), it came 85 minutes after she won the 800m free. And what she called “a challenging” first day of the meet, when she was still adjusting to the time difference.

“I was feeling a lot of fatigue by the time 8 p.m. rolled around, but that’s not an excuse,” she said. “I don’t think I need an excuse for that race. Taylor and Rikako Ikee had great races, and I need to be ready to compete against them.”

The Olympic swimming schedule released last month has the women’s 200m and 1500m freestyle finals in the same session. It creates for Ledecky one of the toughest potential doubles in Olympic swimming history in the first Games with a women’s 1500m free.

Ledecky conquered a similar double before, winning the 1500m free and then advancing out of the 200m free semis less than an hour later at the 2015 and 2017 Worlds.

But Ledecky first pointed out an earlier day on the Olympic program, where the 400m free final is in the morning followed by the 200m and 1500m free heats that night.

“That one day will be a lot of racing, but I feel very confident that I can prepare for that,” she said. “I’m happy the 200m final is before the 1500m final. I kind of like that pairing a little better than the other way around.”

As for the Venzo, expect to see Ledecky wear it in competition for the first time in January. She expects her next meet to be Winter Nationals in late November. Everything is about preparing for the world championships in South Korea in July.

Ledecky, who signed with Tyr in June, said the company has been working on this suit since the Rio Olympics, gathering input from its pro swimmer roster.

“When I was figuring out who to sign with, I had the opportunity to meet with Tyr and try the suit on day one,” she said. “That was a big factor in signing with Tyr. It’s all about feel. There’s no magical formula that I can tell you this is what I would want to feel, but I got in the water with it on and got comfortable and felt like it was fast and advanced the technology of the suit.”

Nick Zaccardi | NBC Sports

Oct 19 18

Michael Houlie talks clinching gold in historic Youth Olympics swim

by ZwemZa

 

 

Michael Houlie (Twitter)

South African swimming sensation Michael Houlie took gold in the men’s 50m breaststroke final at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last week.

The 18-year-old record-breaker swam the fastest time in the history of the Youth Olympics in the semifinals of the 100m event.

The Bishops matric pupil broke the SA record for boys aged 18, previously held by Olympian Cameron van den Burgh.

Houlie swam a Youth Olympic Games best in the event with a time of 1:00.23 to qualify 1st to the final.

Van den Burgh, who swam 1:01.73 back in the 2007, took to Instagram to congratulate the young star.

Houlie says he’s very happy about his record-breaking success at the Youth Olympics, and swimming his own personal best.

He’s been juggling training with his studies and preparations for his exams.

Before the event, the young athlete trained twice on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. He trained once on Wednesday and Saturday and had Sundays off.

Houlie has always been athletic and joined his first swim squad when he was 7-years-old. He says his swimming really took off when he was 12.

He’s now back in Cape Town to write his final matric exams. Next year he will move to the US, where he has a five-year swim scholarship at the University of Tennessee.

The teen spoke about how he’s managed to balance sport and school and how he maintains a good headspace.

His mom, Colleen, also spoke about how the family has supported his swimming career over the years.

Cameron van den Burgh commented on one of my Instagram photos saying well done. That meant a lot to me.

Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist

That semi-final swim was very significant for me because I swam a personal best time. I also managed to break the Youth Olympic record for the 50m and the 100m.

Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist

I was a really fast swim for me. I’m happy about it.

Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist

Leading up to the Youth Olympics, I still had to write my prelims (preliminary matric exams).

Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist

I’ve got a tutor who has really been hard on me.

Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist

Maths, English and Music have come naturally for me. We spend less time focussing on that.

Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist

I don’t really think about the pressure. A lot of people see me dancing on pool day.

Michael Houlie, swimmer and Youth Olympic medalist

Take a listen to the inspiring discussion:

Oct 19 18

Calls for Robben Island swim to be named after Theodore Yach

by ZwemZa

Following the death of open water swimmer, Theodore Yach, the DA calls to rename the Robben Island to Cape Town swim, the ‘Theodore Yach Challenge’. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency

Following the tragic passing of famous open water swimmer, Theodore Yach, on Wednesday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape supports the call by M&C Saatchi Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mike Abel, to rename the Robben Island to Cape Town swim, the ‘Theodore Yach Challenge’.

Mr. Yach was South Africa’s most accomplished ultra-cold and open water swimmer. In 2016, Mr. Yach completed his 100th swim between Robben Island and Cape Town after dedicating more than 30 years of his life to his passion of swimming. He was the first person to complete the swim.
 
The late Mr. Yach’s talent and career saw him sweep countless medals and accolades, including the Mayor’s medal for Civic Contribution back in 2010. In 2012, Mr. Yach authored his debut book, In My Element, after successfully swimming across the English Channel and completing the Robben Island to Cape Town crossing a record 104 times.

MILESTONE: Veteran long-distance swimmer Theodore Yach completed his 100th Robben Island swim yesterday. There were scores of supporters at the finish at Three Anchor Bay. Picture: Jason Boud

“In light of Mr Yach’s incredibly illustrious career, I will write to the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille and the Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, to consider the possibility of renaming the Robben Island to Cape Town swim after Theodore Yach,” DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Cultural Affairs and Sports,  Ricardo Mackenzie.
“Mr. Yach will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to swimming and dedicating his life to encouraging and teaching others to swim. His achievements will continue to inspire many to take up daunting challenges whilst inculcating a culture of winning. May his soul rest in peace.”
 
Cape Argus
Oct 18 18

Wrap-up of Athletes’ Commission discussions in Buenos Aires

by ZwemZa

On the occasion of the Youth Olympic Games 2018, myself and the other IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC) members held our latest meeting in Buenos Aires to discuss issues and developments relating to global athlete welfare and representation.

Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration
At the top of the agenda was the launch of the historic Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration (Athletes’ Declaration). For the first time, athletes’ rights and responsibilities within the Olympic Movement have been outlined and collated into one document – the result of more than 12 months’ work involving athletes and stakeholders from across the Olympic Movement.

The Athletes’ Declaration Steering Committee has been dedicated to producing a document that supports and serves athletes the world over, and we’d like to thank the thousands of you who took part in the survey, providing vital information that helped shape the Athletes’ Declaration.

Continuing the emphasis on platforms for athlete voices, we are very excited to begin the planning process for the International Athletes’ Forum 2019. Looking to build on the success of the 2017 Forum, the aim is to include more athlete representatives than ever at the next edition.

Our Commission also discussed the Athlete Engagement Strategy and confirmed the main objectives: Support, Excite and Inspire. Over the last few weeks, athletes from a range of sports and countries have been interviewed on the implementation plan to deliver these objectives. The Athlete Engagement Strategy will be discussed at the International Athletes’ Forum with the athlete representatives for delivery in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020.

RUSADA’s reinstatement
Following comprehensive deliberation of the recommendation by the Agency’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC), the WADA Executive Committee voted to reinstate RUSADA as compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code – which was a motion carried by nine votes to two. This decision was subject to full agreement on all points outlined in the RUSADA “Roadmap to Compliance” document (read more here).

Following a series of phones calls and many conversations within our Commission on this topic, the in-person meeting in Buenos Aires gave us another opportunity to sit together and discuss again the outcomes of the decision. We discussed the various opinions shared by different Athletes’ Commissions and athletes from around the world. Our members acknowledged that the Commission represents all athletes in the Olympic Movement, and that there are sometimes different views among different athlete groups on certain topics. This question is one of them.

We believe that we are now in a much stronger position, as we have clear deadlines for the deliverables. Should the Russians not meet the requirements within the deadline set by WADA, the new International Standards allow WADA to impose sanctions immediately. With access to the historical samples a comprehensive review can take place. The ball is now in Russia’s court. In addition, Russian athletes can now be tested more often and more effectively by RUSADA. This is an important aspect for all of us. I would also like to stress the fact that the eligibility to compete has not changed for any Russian athletes because of the WADA decision.

The importance of close collaboration with the WADA Athlete Committee was highlighted for the best interest of the athletes, keeping in mind we have a shared interest in protecting clean athletes. In this respect, we have renewed our offer to the WADA Athlete Committee Chair for both bodies to sit down and discuss the different opinions and best way forward.

Healthy minds
Also discussed was mental health among elite athletes. It is becoming increasingly apparent that mental health for every individual is a pressing issue. Our Commission is determined to increase awareness of these issues and spread the message to International Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) that mental health should not and cannot be ignored, and work has begun on developing a unified, evidence-informed approach to mental health assessment and management among athletes.

The Athletes’ Commission will be present at the next Mental Health Consensus meeting in Lausanne in November, where experts will join together to critically analyse current science and clinical practice around mental illness. Going forward, the aim is to present recommendations for a unified approach to mental health that ensures accessible, effective and interdisciplinary management of these issues for elite athletes.

Stable foundations
As we continue to support athletes off the field of play, we are excited to announce the launch of the Athlete365 Business Accelerator: a new partnership with philanthropic business venture fund Yunus Social Business, which was founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, who has been engaging with athletes here in Buenos Aires. The new programme will empower athletes and Olympians to become entrepreneurs while competing or after retirement, with a focus on assisting them with a dual career and the transition to a career after sport.

A number of changes to the IOC Athletes’ Commission election procedure were discussed, with the aim of improving the process for NOCs to put forward candidates, in order to continue to ensure that athletes are well represented and have access to prominent, influential platforms to voice their views. Finally, we presented updates from our meetings with other Athletes’ Commissions from across the Olympic Movement, which aim to strengthen communication, support and cooperation between Athletes’ Commissions globally.

Kind regards,

Kirsty Coventry

olympic.org

Oct 18 18

Comeback queen crowned Sports Woman of the Year

by ZwemZa

Cate Campbell (thewomensgame.com)

Australian swimmer Cate Campbell has been awarded the ‘Sports Woman of the Year” at the Women’s Health Women in Sport Awards in Sydney on Wednesday night.

The 26-year-old also took home the ‘Comeback of the Year’ award which recognises athletes that have come back from a physical, mental or emotional challenge to accomplish a sporting high.

Following the 2016 Rio Olympics, Campbell took a break from competitive swimming to rediscover her love for the sport after her pet events didn’t go to plan. She returned to the pool at the 2017 Australian Short Course Championships where she broke the world record in the 100m freestyle.

She continued her strong form at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games picking up three gold medals and one silver before collecting five gold medals at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo.

“Swimming is extremely fortunate to have a role model like Cate for all young Australian women to aspire to be,” Swimming Australia Chief Executive Leigh Russell said.

“She represents Australia with immense pride, whether that be in the pool or out of it, and is truly a wonderful ambassador for swimming,” she said.

The Australian Women’s Cricket Team took home the ‘A-Team of the Year’ with all-rounder Ellyse Perry claiming the 2018 Moment of the Year award for her record-breaking double century in the inaugural Ashes Day-Night Test at North Sydney Oval.

It’s been a memorable year in women’s cricket, Australia retained the Ashes on home soil with Perry’s 213 in the Test match the highlight and reclaimed the number one world ranking across all formats.

“It’s an absolute honour to be named A Team of the Year, there are so many incredible women representing our country across the sporting landscape, so to receive this award is really special,” Australia captain Meg Lanning said.

“I’d like to congratulate all the other award winners, especially Ellyse who produced an innings during the Ashes that will no doubt be talked about for generations to come.

“We’re so privileged to be able to play the sport we love for a living and to have the opportunity to pull on the green and gold and represent our country is incredibly special,” she said.

All Award winners

Local sporting champion – Wendy Snowball (Mountain biker)

One to Watch – Lucy Bartholomew (Ultramarathon runner)

Leadership Legend – Sam Kerr (Matildas)

Moment of the Year – Ellyse Perry (Cricket)

Person of Sporting Influence – Raelene Castle (CEO of Rugby Australia)

Comeback of the Year – Cate Campbell (Swimmer)

Outstanding Women in Sport – Syke Nicolson (Boxer)

Hall of Fame – Evonne Gooagong Cawley (Tennis)

A-Team of the Year – Australian Women’s Cricket team

Women’s Health Sportswoman of the Year – Cate Campbell

Angela Bacic | The Woman’s Game

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