Winter Olympics


 The countdown is well and truly on until the 23rd Winter Olympic Games are officially opened in the South Korean city of PyeongChang.
Today marks 100 days to go until a team of approximately 50 Australian athletes will take on the world’s best on ice and snow as athletes donning the green and gold look to build on a strong past 12 months.   
Australia has won an Olympic medal at every Winter Games since Lillehammer 1994 and heads into the final 100 days until PyeongChang off the back of its most successful winter season ever, having claimed 40 World Cup and World Championship medals during the 2016/17 season.
“I’ve been to four Olympics now and looking at this Team never has there been so much depth across Australian winter sports,” said dual Olympic medallist Lydia Lassila.  
“So much has changed since I first competed back in Salt Lake City (2002) and there are a number of new disciplines that have been added to Olympic competition that Australia are excelling in.
“We now have the programmes and the systems in place to help our athletes be extremely competitive and achieve at the highest level.”
With four Games already under her belt, Lassila knows that the final 100 days is crucial to success come competition day.
“It’s all coming together now and it’s an exciting part of the season as we are moving onto snow and it’s where all the work starts to pay off,” the 2010 Olympic Champion continued.
“It’s now about staying fit and healthy leading into the Games and then making sure I’m peaking when I’m there.
“I’m looking forward to what will likely be my last few months on snow competing.”
As Lassila ramps up her preparations so too are the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee who are putting the finishing touches on the Olympic Venues and Villages.  
An Australian delegation, headed by Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman, has just returned from the site of next February’s Games and are impressed with how everything is tracking.
"We are just back from our final visit to PyeongChang and we’ve come away really pleased with the arrangements and the facilities in place,” said Chesterman who will lead his sixth straight Australian Winter Team in PyeongChang.

 “The Olympic Villages are looking good and we are confident South Korea will put on a memorable, safe and well executed Winter Games.
“World Cups have already started and now with 100 days to go the focus is very much on February 9 when the Games commence. There is no doubt that our athletes are excited about going to PyeongChang and their opportunity to perform on the Olympic stage."
The Australian Team will likely feature a host of seasoned veterans that will be returning to Olympic competition but is also certain to help expose the next generation of Australian rising stars to the unique nature of a Winter Olympic Games.  
“Hearing that we are 100 days out is so crazy to me,” said 18-year-old Snowboard Halfpipe Youth Olympic silver medallist Emily Arthur who is aiming to make her Games debut at PyeongChang.  
“Time has flown by so quick, I remember watching the Sochi Games like it was yesterday!
“I’m going to do everything I can every day to give myself the best chance at the Olympics, and hearing it’s only 100 days away makes me want it more.”
Short track speed skaters Deanna Lockett and Pierre Boda have a little more knowledge on what to expect from a Games having both competed at Sochi and the duo are now locked in on making their second Olympic appearances.  
For Lockett it’s about putting in every ounce of effort to give herself that chance on sport’s greatest stage.  
“The last 100 days is about training hard and recovering well,” she said.  
“Making sure my body is getting all the benefits from the training by taking good care of it while working on my mental training and ensuring I am as prepared as I can be.”
Boda knows the next 100 days are crunch time.  
“Being 100 days out from PyeongChang is a crazy thought,” he said.  
“We've all put in so much time and hard work during the last four years and now it's finally time to perform well on the big stage.”
Australia is likely to be represented in Snowboard, Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton, Figure Skating, Short Track, Speed Skating and potentially Biathlon at PyeongChang.  
The majority of Australian athletes will be selected less than three weeks out from the Games with most of the final quota places to be finalised on January 22nd.
Australia has won five gold, three silver and four bronze medals in Winter Olympic competition. The Sochi 2014 Australian Winter Olympic Team brought home two silver medals (David Morris & Torah Bright) and a bronze (Lydia Lassila).