BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 17: Melissa Wu poses during the Australian 2024 Paris Olympic Games Diving Squad Announcement at Brisbane Aquatic Centre on June 17, 2024 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images for AOC)

Melissa Wu is set to make history as the first Australian diver to compete at five Olympics, with the Australian Olympic Committee today announcing the complete nine member Australian Olympic Diving Team for Paris.

The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) athlete is joined by fellow NSWIS athletes Kurtis Mathews and Ellie Cole along with World Champion Cassiel Rousseau, Domonic Bedggood, Jaxon Bowshire and Alysha Koloi.

The seven named today join Olympic bronze medallists Anabelle Smith, set to compete at her fourth Olympics, and second time Olympian Maddi Keeney, who were selected in May.

Rousseau is aiming to build on a rich French-Australian Olympic legacy in Paris, with his late grandfather Michel Rousseau winning gold for France at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics in track cycling.

Wu and Cole, the oldest and youngest team members, will contest the 10m individual, Keeney and Smith the 3m synchro and Keeney and Koloi the 3m individual. On the men’s side, Rousseau will contest the 10m individual and partner with Bedggood in the 10m synchro, Bowshire the 10m individual, and Kurtis Mathews the 3m individual.

The team boasts three Olympic medallists in Wu, Keeney and Smith, with the team also winning multiple World Cup and World Championship medals since the Tokyo Games.

With 71 divers having already represented Australia at an Olympic Games, Wu makes history as the first to make five Games, while Smith joins Jenny Donnet and Loudy Wiggins as four-time diving Olympians.

Australian Olympic Team Deputy Chef de Mission Kaarle McCulloch, whose fiancé Kevin Chavez is an Australian Olympic diver, announced the team at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

“I’m thrilled to announce this historic nine-strong Australian Olympic diving team,” Ms McCulloch said.

“Aussie divers have built a rich legacy at the Olympic Games and I’m looking forward to the next chapter these nine athletes will write in Paris.

“To make one Olympic Team is a rare feat. To become the first Australian in your sport to make five Games is a special achievement, and is testament to the character and commitment to excellence that Mel has displayed over almost two decades.

“Congratulations to each of the athletes on this Olympic milestone, and to your coaches, support staff, family, friends and Institutes of Sport who are sharing in your celebration.”

Wu said she was looking forward to focusing on improving further after earning her spot by winning the Australian trials.

“It’s a pretty incredible thing to achieve five Olympic Teams,” she said. “Having made the Team now I can look back on achieving something pretty special.

“Getting through trials, I knew it was going to be tough, there’s so many talented young athletes coming through. Now I can set my sights on Paris – I’ll focus on the process, if I can get that right hopefully the result will take care of itself.

Melissa Wu

“I’ve been lucky to have a really long career. I’ve had a few injuries the past few years and my diving hasn’t been the best, but now I feel like I’m finally getting back into form and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to continue to work back towards what I know I’m capable of.”

2023 World Champion Rousseau will take on both the individual and synchro 10m events in a city he has a strong bond with.

“My mum grew up in Paris and my grandfather won Olympic gold for France. In terms of our family history it’s massive, I just love Paris,” he said.

“Being a world champion hasn’t changed my mindset on how I compete or how I see my competitors. I just want to gain more experience as I’m still relatively new to the sport.

“Competing with Dom [Bedggood], this is both of our second Games, we know what we’re doing. Travelling and competing is a lot of fun; he’s very down to earth, he picks me up when I need it, he’s a really good motivator.”

Twenty-two-year-old Alysha Koloi is one of four debutants on the team.

“I’m overjoyed, I’m still in shock,” the Queenslander said. “It’s been quite a long journey, I’ve been training for this since I was seven years old.

“The Olympics has always been the dream, but it’s really only felt like an achievable goal in the last 12 months.

“In the last 12 months I’ve really progressed as a diver both mentally and physically.  This is the top, the pinnacle of my career so far. I want to hit the event hard in Paris and show my best.”

Diving Australia CEO Alex Newton congratulated the athletes on their selection.

“This is an exciting day for the diving community as we congratulate and celebrate our athletes selected to represent Australia at the Paris 2024 Olympics,” she said.

“Whilst we celebrate nine divers, each on their own individual journey, we also acknowledge the team of coaches, support staff and importantly the families, who support our athletes to make their dreams of representing Australia at an Olympics a reality.

“With four athletes making their Olympic debut, our sport is in great shape. Equally we are thrilled for Melissa Wu who will make history, becoming the first Australian diver to go to five Olympics. I know our returning Olympians Anabelle, Cassiel, Domonic, Maddison and of course Melissa, will serve as great role models to our Olympic debutants Alysha, Ellie, Jaxon and Kurtis.

“How lucky we are to have such an incredible group of athletes showcasing our sport to Australia and the world. We’re excited to see what this team can achieve in Paris.”

Article and image courtesy of AOC

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