The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have now officially concluded, and with them came a number of outstanding performances from NSWIS athletes. With a combined total of 128 NSWIS athletes competing at the Olympics and Paralympics, the London Games lived up to the hype and excitement that had been billed since the city was awarded the Games in 2005.
The Olympic Games saw a total of 85 NSWIS scholarship athletes compete for Australia, accounting for 21% of the 410 strong Australian Olympic team. Australia finished with 35 medals at the Games – seven gold, 16 silver and 12 bronze – with 20 NSWIS athletes contributing four gold, five silver and five bronze medals, or 40% of the total medals won.
The haul of medals by NSWIS athletes from the 2012 Olympic Games was greater than that of four years ago in Beijing, where 25 NSWIS athletes won three gold, four silver and five bronze medals.
The Olympic success was highlighted by four gold medals to five NSWIS athletes, led by canoe sprinter Murray Stewart, who triumphed in the men’s K4 1000m with compatriots Tate Smith, David Smith and Jacob Clear. Stewart, who overcame a severe sinus infection during the Games in order to compete, created history as part of the first Australian crew to win Olympic gold in the event, before being joined on the top of the medal dais by fellow NSWIS athletes and sailors Tom Slingsby, Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen and Malcolm Page.
There was further success on, and in, the water for NSWIS athletes, with seven NSWIS athletes winning five silver medals, including Jessica Fox, who claimed her maiden medal on Olympic debut in the women’s K1 canoe slalom. At only 18 years of age Fox’s future in the sport looks secure, and there is little doubt her silver medal success in London will only spurn her desire to go one better in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The Olympic bronze medals were highlighted by team sport success. Three NSWIS athletes were apart of both Australian women’s water polo and Australian men’s hockey teams that secured third place. Cyclist Kaarle McCulloch , rower Daniel Noonan and swimmer James Magnussen also finished with bronze medals.
One of the most inspiring performances at the Games was that of runner Steven Solomon, who finished eighth in the men’s 400m. Competing on Olympic debut, Solomon set a new personal best in the heats of his event to progress to the semi-final, before setting another personal best in the semi-final to reach the final. Solomon’s final berth saw him become the first Australian finalist in the men’s 400m since the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
NSWIS Honour Roll
Iain Jensen, Nathan Outteridge, Malcolm Page, Murray Stewart, Tom Slingsby
James Chapman, Nina Curtis, Jessica Fox, James Magnussen, Brooke Pratley, Olivia Price, Lucinda Whitty
Matthew Butturini, Kieran Govers, Holly Lincoln-Smith, James Magnussen, Alicia McCormack, Kaarle McCulloch, Daniel Noonan, Simon Orchard, Nicola Zagame
The NSW Institute of Sport would like to congratulate all NSWIS scholarship holders on their achievements at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and we look forward to another four years of success leading into Rio de Janeiro.