The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) has announced Kate McLoughlin will be the Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Australian Paralympic team, the same role she had at Rio 2016.
APC chief executive Lynne Anderson made the announcement today in Sydney at the APC’s first high performance conference for the Tokyo campaign, entitled Mission 2020.
McLoughlin replaced Jason Hellwig at Rio 2016 after he stood down from the role after resigning as chief executive of the APC.
“I am honoured to announce Kate McLoughlin as the Chef de Mission of the Australian Paralympic Team for the Tokyo 2020 Games," said Anderson.
"Kate has proven herself as an outstanding and inspiring leader time and time again, and was instrumental to the Australian Paralympic team achieving such success at the Rio Games last year.
“Kate’s leadership skills saw the Australian Paralympic Team create team camaraderie that allowed us to again fight above our weight, and her ability to be hands on with each sport federation, while directing the team holistically makes her the ideal candidate for the Tokyo 2020 role.
“The APC has deliberately appointed Kate as Chef de Mission this early in the cycle as we recognise the importance of the role, and the need to be as prepared as we can be in an increasingly competitive and relentless competition for Paralympic medals.
“Having already created a vision for the team, I’m looking forward to seeing her take the Australian team to new heights over the next three years, and I have no doubt she will excel in her role as Chef de Mission.”
At the Games in Rio, Australia finished fifth in the medal table as they won 81 medals, which included 22 golds.
McLoughlin, currently general manager of Paralympic Performance at the APC, had herself been replaced as Chef de Mission for Sochi 2014 after having to relinquish the position because of personal problems.
She was also Deputy Chef de Mission under Hellwig at London 2012, where Australia also finished fifth overall with a total of 85 medals, including 32 gold.
“I’m honoured and very grateful to be appointed to this role once again, but more than anything I am looking forward to building on the progress we made together during the Rio campaign,” McLoughlin said.
“In the lead-up to Rio 2016, the Australian Paralympic Team created a supportive culture that bred success, and as Chef, my job will be to further develop our strengths to generate an even more inclusive, athlete-centric and elite focus to once again achieve our goal.
“I always thought a top five finish in Rio would be achievable but it was most definitely touch and go.
"In Tokyo, we will likely have Russia back in play, and a number of countries will be investing more time, effort and money.
"The Australian team will be up for the challenge, but our success will boil down to our ability to work closely with our sporting partners to effectively utilise every possible resource available to us."