Australia St Kilda Cycling Club shares the secret to producing Olympic and Paralympic champions
Olympic Games boss on delivering the most challenging of Games in Tokyo
Before these Olympics began, a year later than originally planned, there were major doubts the International Olympic Committee could pull off the world's biggest sporting event in the middle of a global pandemic in a country that overwhelmingly did not want the Games to proceed. Promises that they could deliver a safe and secure environment, and provide a global population with something to celebrate, were largely derided.The IOC's Olympic Games executive director, Christophe Dubi, a veteran of 12 Olympic Games, told the ABC the challenges leading into Tokyo were without precedent.
What do Paralympic and Olympic cycling champions Carol Cooke, Emily Petricola, Grace Brown and Kelland O'Brien all have in common?
They're members of the St Kilda Cycling Club in Melbourne's south-east.
And they're not alone. Other former members include Tokyo 2020 Paralympians Stuart Tripp and Paige Greco, and former Olympians Matthew Lloyd, Grant Rice and Tracey Gaudry.
Three-time Paralympic gold medallist Carol Cooke, who won a silver in Tokyo, said the community club gave her opportunities others would not.
Whale carcass stuck in mud flats off St Kilda beach weeks after attracting great white sharks
A local who remembers the last time a large whale carcass became stranded off Adelaide's St Kilda beach says it "stunk to high heaven" and caused the water to fill with blubber. She is concerned about the impact of another whale which is stuck near her kiosk.The dead whale's remains were first spotted more than two weeks ago in the Port River, where it attracted interest among onlookers as well as circling sharks.
"I was part of another club that looked upon me as too hard to include," she said.
"I wasn't allowed to race with the women, instead I was made to ride with the junior riders between nine to 12 years of age."
That all changed when she joined the St Kilda club, where she has continued to ride and coach.
"No matter what type of bike you are on, they make you feel just like everyone else."
Inclusive from the start
Vice-president Allison Raaymakers said she was excited about the St Kilda Cycling Club's four-medal haul from Tokyo, and credited the success on the culture created by its few hundred members.
"The thing that we focus on particularly is being really diverse and inclusive club, and actually making an effort to give people a reason to ride,".
Extreme lengths to keep Aussie Olympians virus-free
An underground, purpose-built gym will be available for Aussie athletes in a bid to reduce exposure to COVID-19 at the Tokyo Games. With the Tokyo Games just 18 days away and Japan, like many countries around the world, still fighting off the mutating coronavirus, the Australian team will implement a comprehensive COVID-safe plan to combat exposure to the virus.Hughes, who is also the Chief Medical Officer at the Australian Institute of Sport, outlined key areas of concern for athletes at the Tokyo Games, with the Olympic Village gym top of the list.
"The more people we can get cycling, the greater the likelihood someone will filter through and achieve the mastery level of cycling."
The relatively young club has been a trailblazer in a few ways – they were one of the first to offer women a specific racing grade in the late 2000s, and allowed para-cyclists ride alongside everyone else.
She said this culture was embedded in the club's foundations.
The club was formed 22 years ago when members broke away from existing clubs to create a more relaxed and inclusive environment.
While that has not stopped members from going on to ride professionally, she said the club loved hosting rides where they would stop off at all the best cannoli places around Melbourne, or lounge on beanbags after a race.
"We pride ourselves on being a strong social club as well as having a racing tradition," she said.
Leaders in equality
AusCycling's commercial, clubs and community executive manager Agostino Giramondo said the international achievements of St Kilda Cycling Club members reflected the culture they had developed.
He said the culture was similar to other successful cycling clubs, such as Brunswick in Melbourne's north and Port Adelaide in South Australia, which had also seen their members perform well in the Olympics, Paralympics and other international championships.
"Some people think the success of the club is how many champions it produces, but I think that's an outcome of good environments," he said.
Out of the 450 clubs around Australia, he said St Kilda was one of the leaders in being inclusive for people of all ages, genders and abilities.
But he said international success for clubs often "ebbed and flowed", with clubs across the country also having different focuses, whether it be on particular age groups or types of cycling.
Therefore, Gomez believes in a CL triumph of Bavaria .
of the former Bavaria Torjäger Mario Gomez trust his ex-club the victory in the Champions League. Bavaria and a British top club count for him to the biggest favorites. © Provided by sport1.de Therefore, Gomez believes in a CL triumph of the Bavaria of the longtime goalkeeper Mario Gomez trust his ex-club Bayern München the renewed triumph in the Champions League.