Nick Green: With just six months to go the countdown to London 2012 is truly on
Friday, 27 January 2012
The Games are just six months away and, as an athlete, this is when the anticipation of the Olympics really starts to build.
The years of hard work, training, commitment and sacrifices are now all starting to come to a head, as the lure of London gets closer and closer.
For some athletes the first huge task of qualifying for the Games is over. To date, we have selected team members from open water swimming and sailing – and for those athletes, the focus is now solely on training hard and keeping at the top of their game ahead of the Games commencing in July.
With over 400 athletes to still select on the Australian Olympic team, the intensity of competition among the sports is at its peak. Over the coming months, athletes will battle it out for a spot on the team, representing for some the culmination of years of effort and focus.
Australia expects to send a team of approximately 420 athletes to London, competing across 25 of the 26 sports.
Our aim as a team is to place in the top five in both the overall medals and gold medals. In 2011, we witnessed a number of outstanding individual and team performances placing Australia in the top four on overall gold medals. However, in the overall medal tally, Australia placed eight. Despite this result, the future is bright. Australian athletes placed fourth and fifth in 37 events. The focus now is to convert these places into medals.
The end of 2011 saw our sailors dominate the World Championships in Perth with three gold medals and the Kookaburras defend their hockey Champions Trophy in New Zealand. These results have further buoyed our belief that Australia is rising again in international sport and that we will win medals in a broad range of sports in London.
We hope that over the next six months we will see some of our fine athletes that were achieving high results in 2011, convert their success into podium finishes at the Games.
As for London itself, I believe the city is ready to hold a successful and exhilarating Games.
The Olympic Village is of an incredibly high standard and during our planning visits to London we have been extremely pleased with the Village accommodation, facilities and spacious surrounds.
The finishing touches are being put on the sporting venues and I can guarantee that Australia's athletes and spectators alike will have an incredibly exciting Games experience.
Nick Green is a double Olympic rowing gold medallist and Australia's Chef de Mission for London 2012