Australia to send its biggest Winter Olympic team to Sochi

Canberra, Jan 23: A record number of Australians have been selected for the country’s Winter Olympic team heading to Sochi, Russia, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) announced Thursday.

Fifty-six skiers, snowboarders, skaters and sliders have been selected for Sochi, surpassing the past two Winter Olympic efforts where Australia was represented by 40 athletes. The AOC said there will still be a few more to come, reports Xinhua.

There will be Australians in 10 of the 15 sports in Sochi: Alpine Skiing, Bobsleigh, Cross Country, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Luge, Short Track, Skeleton, Snowboard and Speed Skating. The Freestyle Skiing section is the biggest with 21 athletes followed by the Snowboard squad with 11.

Led by Olympic gold medallists Dale Begg-Smith (Moguls), Torah Bright (Snowboard) and Lydia Lassila (Aerials), 70 percent of the Australian team will make their Olympic debut.

“I’m always there if athletes need advice,” Lassila said ahead of her fourth Olympic campaign.

“But my role at the Sochi Olympics isn’t to mentor. It is to be a fierce competitor and to give my best performance. That in itself is the best source of inspiration for younger generations.”