On Wednesday the 4th of May, the ‘Blue & Gold’ Pre-Olympic Games Dinner took place, with pre-dinner drinks in the Main Quadrangle and dinner in The Great Hall.
At the outset, the following 31 Olympians were acknowledged by enthusiastic dinner guests, who included many other aspiring Sydney Uni Olympians hoping to be selected for the Rio de Janeiro Games in the weeks ahead.
|Rob Bell||2000/04/08 Canoeing|
|Milly Clark||2016 Athletics|
|Joshua Clarke||2016 Athletics|
|Lavinia Chrystal||2014 Alpine Skiing|
|Cheryl Collins (née Peasley)||1972 Athletics|
|Sarah Cook||2008/12 Rowing|
|Bronwen Downie (née Watson)||2012 Rowing|
|Kyeema Doyle||2004 Rowing|
|Matt Dunn||1992/96/00 Swimming|
|Peter Farmer||1976/80 Athletics|
|Ed Fernon||2012 Modern Pentathlon|
|Trent Franklin||2004/08 Water Polo|
|Chris Fydler||1992/96/00 Swimming|
|Rose Fydler (née Brown)||1980 Swimming|
|Natalie Galea||1996 Judo|
|Jinnie Gavin (née Wadhawan)||1972 Diving (for India)|
|Peter Hadfield||1980/84 Athletics|
|Chris Harrison||1998 Water Polo|
|Colin Hamilton||1992 Modern Pentathlon|
|John Hayres||1956 Swimming|
|Lauren Hewitt||1996/00/04 Athletics|
|David Hynes||1996 Baseball|
|Michelle Jenneke||2016 Athletics|
|Andrew Kiely||1988 Modern Pentathlon|
|Doug Maclennan||1964 Gymnastics|
|Peter Montgomery||1972/76/80/84 Water Polo|
|Lachlan Renshaw||2008 Athletics|
|Anneliese Rubie||2016 Athletics|
|Lionel Robberds||1960 Rowing|
|Justin Rowsell||1992 Boxing|
|Thomas Whalan||2000/04/08/12 Water Polo|
Chris Fydler, Sydney Uni’s gold medal-winning Sydney 2000 Olympian, addressed the dinner in his capacity as Deputy Chef de Mission of the Australian team for Rio de Janeiro. He provided fascinating insights into the venues for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the accommodation for athletes in Rio. Chris was very buoyant about construction being finished in time for the Games. He was also very positive about Australia’s likely overall performance, especially our medal chances in the pool and in team events.
Just prior to the main course being served, our dinner guests enjoyed a video produced by the SUSF marketing team, featuring players from Sydney Uni Women’s Water Polo National League champions. Five of the sixteen players in the Olympic squad (which will ultimately become a team of fourteen players) are Sydney Uni aspiring 2016 Olympians.
Adam Spencer moderated a thoroughly entertaining panel of past Sydney Uni Olympians. Peter Farmer, a jovial hammer thrower from the 1976 Montreal and 1980 Moscow Olympics, was flanked by two extremely personable rowers in Kyeema Doyle from the 2004 Athens Games and Sarah Cook from both the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. All three athletes captivated the audience with really insightful accounts of their personal Olympic experiences.
There was a very generous response to the Olympic-themed live auction, as indeed there was to both the raffle and silent auction items. Special thanks in this regard to the Urbanest table and also Bruce and Annie Corlett.
The final entertainment segment was Adam Spencer’s panel of aspiring 2016 Sydney Uni Olympians. That panel included Michelle Jenneke – the “dancing hurdler” – and Joshua Clarke – Australia’s answer to Usain Bolt – both of whom had already gained a place in the Australian team for Rio. The third panel member was Chloe Dalton, our brilliant exponent of Women’s Rubgy 7s, who has high hopes of joining Shelly and Josh in Brazil come August.
The bubbly personalities of the girls made for a great combination with the dry sense of humour of Australia’s fastest man. Shelly maintained that her logical goal would be to make the final of the women’s 100m hurdles. Josh will aim for a personal best performance and a wealth of experience towards his future career. Given that Australia has the N°1 ranked team in the Women’s Rugby 7s, Chloe’s goal is very definitely a podium finish!
At the conclusion of the dinner, everyone was in the Olympic spirit. We will all take great interest in the Olympic campaigns of Shelly, Josh and hopefully Chloe, but also the performances of the many other Sydney Uni Olympians and Paralympians in Rio de Janeiro.
Everyone was exhorted to enter the ‘Blue & Gold’ Olympic Celebration Luncheon in their diaries. It will be held on Friday 16th September at The Ivy Ballroom, 320 George Street (opposite Wynyard station). All of Sydney Uni’s returning Olympians will be there and hopefully some of them will be wearing new bling!
In the interim, we will keep you posted with selections of Sydney Uni athletes as they come to hand. The current ‘state of the nation’ is as follows (as at 13/05/16):
|Amelia (Milly) Clark||Athletics||Women’s Marathon|
|Joshua Clarke||Athletics||Men’s 100m Sprint|
|Madeline Hills||Athletics||Women’s 3000m Steeplechase|
|Michelle (Shelly) Jenneke||Athletics||Women’s 100m Hurdles|
|Ella Nelson||Athletics||Women’s 200m Sprint|
|Brendon Reading||Athletics||Men’s 50k Walk|
|Anneliese (Annie) Rubie||Athletics||Women’s 400m & 4 x 400m Relay|
|Jessica Fox||Canoe/Kayak||Women’s Single K1 Canoe Slalom|
|Murray Stewart||Canoe/Kayak||Men’s K4 1000m Kayak|
|Jaime Ryan||Sailing||Women’s 470 Class|
|Will Ryan||Sailing||Men’s 470 Class|
|John Boultbee||Volleyball||Team Leader (Indoor & Beach)|
|Chris Fydler OAM||Australian Team||Deputy Chef de Mission, Information Services|
|Angela (Angie) Ballard||Athletics||T53 Wheelchair Sprint Events|
|Prue Watt OAM||Swimming||S13/SB13/SM13 Events|
A Sydney Uni Olympian is defined as either a Sydney University graduate who has competed for Australia at the Olympic Games or a current Sydney University student or club member who gained their Australian Olympic selection while representing Sydney Uni at their respective sport.
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