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Sir Rols

Team Australia Hospitality Thread

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Well, the countdown's on, and looking forward to another fortnight of following the competition on GamesBids. I figured it's time to open the doors to the traditional games-time hospitality tent here.

Feel free anyone to drop in any time you feel like it, have a few beers or our finest wines, and discuss the prowess of our mighty Aussie warriors as well as discuss Oz-related highlights from Vancouver.

To start things off, the latest news. Our women's two-man bob team has been allowed to compete. This was a bit of an issue down here, but it meant pitting ourselves as the bad players against the Irish. Thankfully, compromise has been reached.

Aussie bobsleders reinstated for Games

Australia's women two-man bobsleigh team of Astrid Loch-Wilkinson and Cecilia McIntosh were given the Olympics green light after successfully appealing against their exclusion.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in favour of the Australian Olympic Committee's (AOC) case that the International Bobsleigh Federation (FIBT) had made a mistake by not following its own Olympic qualification and selection guidelines regarding continental representation.

"We won. The outcome means that Oceania will be represented in the Women's tw0-man bobsleigh," said Fiona De Jong, the AOC's director of sport.

"We are bloody stoked, obviously. I had the opportunity to speak to the girls and they squealed for about two minutes and did a happy dance."

Ireland's two-man team could have been omitted as a consequence of Australia getting the green light, but CAS recommended to the IOC that a 21st sled be included into the existing field.

Although the decision is yet to be ratified by the IOC, the ruling ensures that the 20th sled qualified, that of Irish pair Aoife Hoey and Claire Bergin, will remain, as suggested by the AOC's representatives at the CAS hearing.

"Our first argument was always that a 21st sled was the preferred remedy," De Jong said.

"The Irish girls had also trained hard for this. It's a good all-round result. It's a difficult position, it really was. I empathised with both sets of athletes."

Loch-Wilkinson competed at the 2006 Turin Olympics, finishing 14th, while McIntosh, a former Commonwealth Games silver medallist in javelin, is at her first Olympics.

The first heats of the women's bobsleigh are on February 23 (local time).

The Winter Olympics run from February 12 to 28.

ABC

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I was surprised not to see this before. For the records, the rules where crystal clear about continental representation, I have no idea what the FIBT was thinking whey they gave Ireland the entry over Japan and Australia (Japan got in after Austria declined its spot). Apparently Brazil also challenged, but I doubt they will get in (as the qualification rule explicitly lump North and South America together as a single continent).

Hopefully the IOC will follow the CAS' ruling, it would be a shame for Ireland to miss the games (the pilot from Ireland narrowly missed out on Turin).

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Yeah, really hope the irish are allowd to compete. It was fair enough for the Aussie girls to push for their spot, but it's not nice coming out as the bad guys in the piece.

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One CASCADE LAGER, please...

pictureofcascadebottle.jpg

:)

Mate, it's on the house for you! You're an honourary Aussie!

I hope to pop into the German supporters HQ regularly to celebate medals as well! Keep the Becks on ice!

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Mate, it's on the house for you! You're an honourary Aussie!

I hope to pop into the German supporters HQ regularly to celebate medals as well! Keep the Becks on ice!

thanks mate!

I hope you brought some TimTams with you, too

:) :)

the "German house" will be open soon

:)

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Yeah, really hope the irish are allowd to compete. It was fair enough for the Aussie girls to push for their spot, but it's not nice coming out as the bad guys in the piece.

Ireland and Australia given green light to compete in bobsleigh

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) had appealed to the the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) claiming that the International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation (FIBT) had failed to properly apply its qualification system leaving Oceania without a representative.

That could have left Ireland out in the cold.

But after a lengthy deliberation, which had been preceded by the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) presenting a vehement counter-argument, it was decided tonight that both Ireland and Australia would be allowed compete in the event on February 23.

http://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8966:ireland-and-australia-given-green-light-to-compete-in-bobsleigh&catid=234:bobsleigh-news

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I had to post this pic - it was shown on the ARD-website in the context that the German team was officially welcomed in the olmypic village today

(pay attention to the one building on the right in the background)

olympischesdorf102vteas.jpg

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius

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Kylie at our tent! See, we book the best entertainment!

Is that the Kylie video you've always been on the search for CAF! G and I have always kept an eye open, but never seen a video clip for the song.

Good news about the Irish for the bob. Fair all around.

Anyway, that finalises the Australian team. As it stands then, we have sent a team of 40 - 20 men and 20 women - our largest ever winter team.

Good luck Cobbers!

Edited by Sir Roltel

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Begg-Smith bats off backlash fears

DALE Begg-Smith was supposed to be to the 2010 Winter Olympics what Cathy Freeman had been to the Sydney Games.

Raised on the slopes around Vancouver, Begg-Smith was a skiing prodigy born to win gold for Canada.

Instead, he has returned to the northern hemisphere a rock-solid gold medal prospect for Australia having won his adopted nation its first skiing gold on the mogul course at Turin in 2006.

Yesterday he claimed the decision saved his career.

"If I hadn't moved to Australia, I wouldn't be competing anyway. I'd quit; I wouldn't even have had the experience of going to any Olympics," he said.

The 25-year-old's decision to abandon Canada still rankles in his original homeland.

When Canadian skiing officials told him as a 15-year-old to make a choice between his sport or the internet business he and his brother had started, he found a third option in a nation more known for sand than snow.

The ill-feeling remains on both sides and for this reason, Begg-Smith's press conference yesterday stayed closed to all but Australian media, in what is expected to be the only formal interview he gives before his event on Sunday.

Begg-Smith was put under the spotlight quite literally and then grilled about what he feels the reception will be like for him when competing in the province he was raised, why Canadian media had dubbed him an "international man of mystery" and how his reconstructed knee was.

But there was no mention of his controversial line of work, the very topic that ensured some weren't welcome yesterday after the prickly questions that had been asked about the nature of his internet business following his gold-medal winning run in Turin four years ago. While his online business has made him a multi-millionaire, he has been criticised in some circles because of its close links to spyware, adware and malware -- the bugbears of the worldwide web.

And though the press conference is understood to have been several weeks in the making, Begg-Smith denied he was avoiding speaking to Canadian journalists in particular.

"I am trying to focus on what I have to do and I don't want anything to get in the way of that because that's the main reason I am here," Begg-Smith said.

On the skiing front things couldn't be better with the three-time World Cup winner declaring himself fully fit and ready for his event.

After blowing out his knee in a World Cup event last January Begg-Smith has staged a remarkable comeback, returning this season to register three wins and two seconds in five events.

He indicated the prospect of becoming Australia's first dual Winter Olympic gold medallist was something that would look after itself -- something he hoped his former country's press would also do.

Questioned about a backlash from their media, he batted it off.

"I don't know. I am pretty sure they'll be pretty happy with what their guys (athletes) do so maybe they'll be focused on that," he said.

There had been major concerns over the venue for Begg-Smith's event, Cypress Mountain.

While Games organisers continue to ferry in snow, and harden the shallow Cypress pack with dry ice, there were some encouraging signs in the weather report with snow flurries predicted over the next two days.

Meanwhile, remedial work was conducted at Whistler yesterday, home of the alpine skiing events.

The Australian

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Aussie Dale is certainly an enigmatic fella...and the weird thing is with his domination of the sport in recent years, potential to be a double gold medallist and engagement in a younger X-Games friendly sport you'd think the local Aussie media would be trying to get as much mileage out of him as possible (as well as the AOC). Instead he keeps very quiet, has dollars flowing in from non-sporting sources and rarely raises a flicker of interest with Joe Public.

I just wonder if aside from the rather sketchy aspects of his business interests Australians feel a little too unsure about claiming him as an Aussie Olympic champion. He's almost the complete antithesis of (say) Steve Bradbury...

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The whole Dale Begg-Smith thing is overblown. Nobody cares about him one way or another here (except the media I guess...).

We also got Christine Nesbitt (borned in Melbourne) so I say it was a good trade. You can keep Mr. Zero Charisma ;)

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Aussie Dale is certainly an enigmatic fella...and the weird thing is with his domination of the sport in recent years, potential to be a double gold medallist and engagement in a younger X-Games friendly sport you'd think the local Aussie media would be trying to get as much mileage out of him as possible (as well as the AOC). Instead he keeps very quiet, has dollars flowing in from non-sporting sources and rarely raises a flicker of interest with Joe Public.

I just wonder if aside from the rather sketchy aspects of his business interests Australians feel a little too unsure about claiming him as an Aussie Olympic champion. He's almost the complete antithesis of (say) Steve Bradbury...

Exactly. He's never been embraced wholeheartedly here, even in Torino when he won his Gold, it wasn't greeted with the same affection and reaction as we'd normally reserve for, well, a Bradbury or a Camplin. Even if he does snag another here, I doubt it would be greeted as joyously as Lydia Lassila, Torah Bright, or, (wouldn't it be great) Jacquie Cooper. Hell, we'd feel more proud I reckon if one of our short trackers gets another "last man standing" medal.

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Because he isn't Australian, we would have competed for Qatar or anywhere else if it was attractive enough. He is a pure traitor. Something Australians wouldn't glorify.

Douche Begg-Smith will lose and we will celebrate when Alexandre Bilodeau, a true Canadian wins on home soil.:P:D

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Anyway, for tonight's entertainment at the Roo Bar, we're pleased to bring you ...

Our Livvy!

And the beer special for today is Emu Bitter! emu.jpg

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Good luck to the Aussie team! You have a better chance of winning medals than your Kiwi brothers :)

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Anyway, for tonight's entertainment at the Roo Bar, we're pleased to bring you ...

Our Livvy!

And the beer special for today is Emu Bitter! emu.jpg

Hey SR...not sure what gives the more indigestion...the clip from Xanadu or the Emu Bitter :P

Now if we want to see the slopes littered with johnny foreigner lying in proud Aussie Olympian's wakes may I suggest the following:

coopers-ice.jpg

BTW Faster...any chance Canada will finally win a gold medal at their third home soil Olympics :D;):P

No pressure....

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Good luck to the Aussie team! You have a better chance of winning medals than your Kiwi brothers :)

Tell you what ... if you let us book Crowded House here one night, sling us a few crates of Steinlager and/or win any Kiwi medals, we'll make this an ANZAC hospitality tent.

Edited by Sir Roltel

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Tell you what ... if you let us book Crowded House here one night, sling us a few crates of Steinlager and/or win any Kiwi medals, we'll make this an ANZAC hospitality tent.

Sounds like a plan. We will even chuck in the Kiwi Pavlova!

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