Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Gender milestone for Australian sport

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Kate Ellis MP, Minister For Sport

Minister for Sport Kate Ellis and the Tanya Plibersek have hailed today as an important milestone for Australian women in sport.

The inclusion of the Australian Women’s Bobsleigh Team for the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver means that the team will now comprise 20 women and 20 men.

“This is the first time that an Australian Olympic Team will have an equal number of women and men,” Ms Plibersek said.

“This sends a positive message to all Australian women. Seeing more women competing at the Olympics inspires young women to get more involved in sport.”

Ms Ellis said Australian women have a proud history at the Winter Olympics with Zali Steggal in 1998 securing Australia’s first individual winter Olympic medal and more recently Alisa Camplin winning gold in 2002 and a bronze in 2006.

“The tradition set by our women Winter Olympians looks set to continue in 2010 with many Australian women carrying our medal hopes going into the Vancouver Games,” Ms Ellis said.

Jacqui Cooper, Lydia Lassila and Torah Bright are among those athletes leading Australia’s medal chances.

“Congratulations to all the women and men who have been selected to represent Australia at the 2010 Winter Olympics. I look forward to cheering you on in the coming weeks.”