Volume 8 Number 7
July 9 - August 13 2012
Voice: What is your role as Deputy Chef de Mission for London all about?
Kitty: As Deputy Chef de Mission I am part of a four-person Team Executive, led by Chef de Mission Nick Green (also a Melbourne alumnus). We basically have responsibility for the overall management of the team – including selections, budget, any disciplinary matters, dealing with the media and of course cheering on all our wonderful athletes!
Voice: How do you think London will go hosting the Games?
Kitty: There is no doubt London will host a fantastic Games. The iconic venues such as Lords, Wimbledon and Horse Guards Parade will provide some magnificent back-drops. The focus of the Organising Committee has always been on the athlete and I am sure that all the world’s athletes will have a memorable experience. It will be a Games to rival Sydney!
Voice: Always a hot topic of conversation, what do you really think of Australia’s uniform for the Opening Ceremony?
Kitty: I love our uniform and most importantly, so do our athletes. We had a design committee consisting of athletes who ensured that comfort as well as style was considered. The uniform is smart and traditional but maintains our “laid back” lifestyle. Sportscraft has done an excellent job and the iconic Volley shoes are a real hit! We are keeping a special something secret though until Opening Ceremony night so stay tuned!!
Voice: You’ve been to a number of Games Villages. What is life really like for the athletes during their two week stay in the bubble?
Kitty: An Olympic Village is a slightly surreal experience. You are certainly cocooned somewhat from the ‘real world’. It can be easy for athletes to eat too much with an enormous dining hall on tap 24/7 and also walk a lot more than they may normally do. All our athletes need to be careful to maintain their usual pre-competition routines. The Village in London is fantastic and right next to the Olympic Park, where a lot of the venues are. The Australian team headquarters is in a perfect location – close to the transport mall and dining hall but still in a fairly quiet spot.
Voice: If you get the chance to get out of the Village and see some action, who would you most like to go and watch?
Kitty: I will certainly be getting out and watching a lot of events. Of course I will be cheering on our Modern Pentathletes on the last two days! The BMX I think, will be a really exciting event to watch, and something I have never seen. The atmosphere at the hockey and basketball venues should be great to experience and the track cycling is another sport I will definitely get to. I also plan a trip down to Weymouth to watch our very successful sailing team and I always enjoy watching equestrian events, especially the show jumping discipline.
Voice: We’ve all heard about how Sally Pearson, James Magnusson and the Kookaburras will be going for gold. Besides these favourites, who’s your tip to be the next golden boy, girl or team of Australian sport?
Kitty: Anna Meares is a fantastic ambassador for Australian sport and cycling and is sure to have some great battles at the velodrome. Still on cycling and our two BMX riders Sam Willoughby and Caroline Buchanan are on top of the world at the moment and should also produce some great results. Watch out for Edwina Topps-Alexander who could produce Australia’s first ever gold medal in show jumping and Murray Stewart in canoe kayak sprint who could be a multiple medal winner.
Voice: What would be a good result for Australia on the medal table? Can we finish in the top five again?
Kitty: Our aim is certainly to finish in the top five on both the gold medal and overall medal tallies. We will need to win around 15 gold medals to do this but we are confident that we can. A lot of our athletes are really coming into form at the right time and we know Australia always seems to punch well above its weight in the Olympic arena. We have a fantastic support team of management, coaching, medical and media staff to provide all the support our team needs to ensure we are delivering an athlete-focused, performance-driven environment.
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