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Australia's Winter Olympic History

Having been a part of the Summer Olympic Games since 1896, Australia first competed at the Winter Olympic Games at Garmisch 1936 when at 22 Ken Kennedy took to the speed skating track. He competed in three events, securing his best result in the 500m event where he finished 29th of 36 competitors. 

Due to the second World War and no athletes competing at the 1948 St Moritz Games, Australia would wait 16 years before retuning to Winter Olympic competition at the 1952 Oslo Games. 

It was an even longer wait for Australia to secure its first Winter Olympic medal with that historic moment coming at Lillehammer 1994 when Steven BradburyKieran HansenAndrew Murtha and Richard Nizielski created history by winning a bronze in the 5000m short track relay. 

Four years later in Japan, Zali Steggall won alpine skiing bronze in the slalom event at Nagano 1998. 

Then in 2002, Bradbury had the world talking with his remarkable gold in the 1000m short track. In the now famous event, Bradbury trailed at the corner before a fall at the front of the pack allowed him to storm through and make history as Australia’s first Winter Olympic gold medallist. 

We didn’t have to wait long to taste gold again however. Only a few days later, Alisa Camplin won aerial skiing gold on Olympic debut, making sure the Salt Lake Games were a memorable one for Australia.  

At the Torino 2006 Games, Camplin returned to win a superb bronze, but it was Dale Begg-Smith who stole the show this time as he secured moguls gold. 

At the Vancouver Games in 2010, Torah Bright won the snowboard halfpipe, making Australia’s first ever medal in halfpipe a gold one, while Lydia Lassila (Ierodiaconou) claimed top step on the podium in the aerials. Begg-Smith backed up his gold in Torino with a silver to help Australia earn its highest ever finish on a Winter Olympic medal tally, 13th.  

At the Sochi 2014 Games, Dave Morris clinched aerials silver, Bright was all smiles with halfpipe silver and Lassila won bronze, while attempting a jump no other women has ever attempted in competition. 

At youth level, after winning two bronze medals at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games at Innsbruck 2012, the Australian Team showed there is plenty of talent coming through the ranks by claiming five medals at Lillehammer 2016. Opening Ceremony flag bearer Emily Arthur, won Australia’s first medal, claiming silver in snowboard halfpipe. This was followed by silver in the snowboard cross to Alex Dickson and ski cross silver to Zali Offord. Speed skater Julia Moore also captured a silver as part of the Mixed NOC Team in the 3000m relay event while Louis Muhlen rounding out the medals with a ski cross bronze.


Most Winter Games

  • Colin Coates (Speed Skating) 6 (Grenoble 1968, Sapporo 1972, Innsbruck 1976, Lake Placid 1980, Sarajevo 1984 & Calgary 1988).
  • Jacqui Cooper (Freestyle Skiing: Aerials) 5 (Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998, Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006 & Vancouver 2010)
  • Lydia Lassila (Freestyle Skiing: Aerials) 4 (Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010 & Sochi 2014)
  • Adrian Costa (Freestyle Skiing: Moguls) 4 (Albertville 1992, Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998 & Salt Lake City 2002)


Australian Winter Olympic Medallists

  • Torah Bright (Snowboarding)
    2 (1 gold & 1 silver)
  • Dale Begg Smith (Freestyle Skiing: Moguls)
    2 (1 gold & 1 silver)
  • Lydia Lassila (Freestyle Skiing: Aerials)
    2 (1 gold & 1 bronze)
  • Steven Bradbury (Short Track Skating)
    2 (1 gold & 1 bronze)
  • Alisa Camplin-Warner (Freestyle Skiing: Aerials)
    2 (1 gold & 1 bronze)
  • David Morris (Freestyle Skiing: Aerials)
    1 (1 silver)
  • Kieran Hansen (Short Track Skating)
    1 (1 bronze)
  • Andrew Murtha (Short Track Skating)
    1 (1 bronze)
  • Richard Nizielski (Short Track Skating)
    1 (1 bronze)
  • Zali Steggall (Alpine Skiing)
    1 (1 bronze)

Torah Bright Vancouver 2010 gold

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Table of Australia at the Winter Olympics

Australia and Greece are the only two nations to have been represented at every summer Olympic Games dating back to 1896.