We were somewhat cheered when we looked at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics medal tally and discovered that Australia had jumped from three medals to 10, until we discovered that the country that had won 10 medals was actually Austria.
Our readers may be surprised to learn that great writing skills such as ours usually comes at the expense of our reading skills and that this is not the first instance of the omission of one “a” and one “l” leading us to confuse a tiny country in Europe with the island continent of the southern hemisphere.
It is swimmers, not skiers, for which Australia is better known.
The country took part in every Winter Olympics since 1936, with the exception of the 1948 games in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Australia needed until 1994 to win a medal of any kind, which is not surprising, considering that representation at some of the games was limited to one athlete in the first games in which the country participated in 1936.
It is hard to have great winter athletes in a country where there is hardly a winter to be had.
To date, in the 82 years Oz has sent someone to compete in the Winter Games, 15 medals, split equally between gold, silver and bronze have been awarded to Australian competitors.
Australian winter athletes have been on the uptick in recent years, when the “sports” of snowboarding and trick skiing were included.
Three medals have gone to Australians in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.
Silver medals went to Matt Graham for the men’s moguls in Freestyle skiing and Jarryd Hughes in the discipline of snowboarding in the men’s snowboard cross event, and Scotty James took bronze in the men’s halfpipe snowboarding event.
The most recent winner of a gold medal was Lydia Lassila, who took the women’s aerials event in freestyle skiing in 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.