In a country where snow, ice and coldare not all that common, Australia plans to have an Olympic contingent of about 50 athletes for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.
The team will be a mix of veterans and some debutants and they will compete in 11 sporting disciplines.
The Aussies will have two men and two women in the figure skating events.
They are Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and her partner Harley Windsor in the Pairs. The two were the first Australiansto make an ISU Final event and to win an ISU event, winning the Junior World Figure Skating Championships in 2017 at Taiwan.
The other member of the team on the women’s side is Kailani Craine, who hails from NSW and spends part of her time training in Newcastle and the rest in Los Angeles. She finished 24th in the 2017 World Championships, but she has seen her results improve. She is 19 years of age.
The other member from the men’s side is 23-year-old Brendan Kerry of Sydney. He competed four years ago in Sochi and his athletic abilities have enabled him to do something few skaters can claim, completing two different kinds of quadruple jumps.
It is skating of a different kind for those who want to follow Andy Jung and Deanna Lockett. They compete in short track speed skating. Jung is from Korea, where short track speed skating enjoys huge popularity. He is 20 years of age and has shown consistent improvement since discovering short track five years ago.
Deanna Lockett is the Aussie women’s representative in short track. She is originally from Brisbane and now lives in Melbourne. She won a bronze medal at the World Cup level in Budapest in October of 2017.
Australia has come a long way since the 1936 Olympics, when Kenneth Kennedy was the long participant.
There were 88 Australian athletes at the Sochi Games in 2014 and two silver and one bronze medal went back Down Under with them.