The countdown is on - two years to Rio!

by staff

Today [5 August 2014] is an exciting day for the Olympic movement as it marks two years until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

With Rugby Sevens making its debut in Rio, Australian Women’s Sevens star Alicia Quirk joined Olympic royalty to celebrate the milestone at the Australian Olympic Committee headquarters in Sydney.

Quirk was part of a media call alongside double Winter Olympic medallist Torah Bright, basketball star Liz Cambage and water polo athlete Holly Lincoln-Smith.

The 2016 Australian Olympic Team will be led by Kitty Chiller as Chef de Mission. The Sydney Olympian in Modern Pentathlon was a Deputy in 2012 and she is establishing the framework to ensure Australian athletes can fulfil their potential and represent Australia with great honour, on and off the field of play in 2016.

“Athletes in Rio will not only be members of the 2016 Olympic Team, they will be the latest additions to a by then 120 year old Team, that started with Edwin Flack in Athens in 1896. I want all our athletes to understand and respect the great Olympic tradition that Australia has and to recognise that with that tradition comes responsibility. Our Team needs to excel on and off the field of play.”

“As well as aiming to regain our position in the Top 5 on the Medal tally in 2016, we are also working hard to ensure Rio is a Life-Best Experience for athletes and officials – win, lose or draw. A united team approach will provide the best environment for success.”

Kitty Chiller has used the two-years-to Rio countdown to name the next crop of Team Leaders for the 2016 Olympic Games, headlined by golfing great and 1991 winner of The Open, Ian Baker-Finch. Chiller also appointed Luca Liussi and Scott Bowen as Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens Team Leader’s respectively.

This milestone makes the prospect of the first Olympic Games in South America all the more real for athletes and coaches who are training hard. Behind the scenes the national federations, sporting institutes and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) staff are working to ensure the 2016 Australian Olympic Team is the best prepared to take on the world from August 5-21 2016.

The International Olympic Committee also confirmed that the Seven Network had signed a historic, long-term agreement for an all-encompassing coverage of the Olympic Games over the coming decade.

Seven’s agreement with the International Olympic Committee delivers free broadcast television and subscription television rights, and expands beyond television to Seven’s digital platforms, including online and Hybrid Broadband Broadcast Television. Seven has also secured radio broadcasting rights.

Under the unprecedented new agreement, Seven will broadcast the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020, and the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014.