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Team Australia at Sochi 2014


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It's a bit harsh saying he let down Australia - Australia shouldn't put so many eggs into a sport as random as cross.

Chumpy's case reflects a klot of concerns over Olympic funding across lots of the sports here. We saw a lot of the same in the lead up to London, with some disgruntlement in the swim team over how the AOC was favouring certain "star" swimmers, in particular veterans like Thorpey, who were being encouraged to fight on one more time for Oz, over the youngsters and unknowns coming up. I can understand why the AOC and AIS would decide to focus some resources towards the individuals they think have the best chance of standing atop the podiums. That said, it clearly wasn't as effective as they hoped in London and Sochi and they really should be going back to the drawing board in how they allocate their resources and who they target.

This talk of Chump though getting "millions" from the taxpayer is just so much exaggerated bullsh!t. No Aussie athlete gets in those seven figures from the public purse. A lot of that seems to refer to the cost of establishing up our training base in Austria, which has included a cross track. The AIS-signed athletes seem to have had more privileged access to that than those on other scholarships such as NSW's Institute of Sports. Beyond that, I've got no idea about the differences funding and scholarship deals between the AIS and others like the NSW Institute, but no way an individual gets huge bucks. They still all long for sponsors to really let them make a full time career of their pastimes. That said, I'd question whether Chump needs the money with his profile and out-of-sports activities as much as the lesser, unknown an up-coming lights.

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He didn't even make it close to getting on the podium. For the second Olympics in a row he screwed up. Yes humans make mistakes but the dude already has sponsorship's from Samsung he doesn't deserve more funding over people like Scotty James and Belle Brockhoff. The focus was all on Chumpy in this event and he screwed up I mean seriously, Cam Bolton did better then he did!!

And it is unfair if Chumpy got access to the great training facility and the others didn't. Although it didn't seem to get him anywhere because in the end his overall position was worse than Belle Brockhoff's.

Bright started the hashtag #TeamOutcast as a way to bring together the athletes who felt they were largely sidelined from official taxpayer-funded support through the Olympic Winter Institute and the NSW Institute of Sport. Bright was offered extensive support, but she declined it, preferring to satisfy existing sponsorship deals.

Brockhoff's anger was expressed in a vitriolic statement in which he said up to a dozen parents are upset.

Pullin was identified by OWI officials as the athlete with the most potential to win a Sochi Olympic medal and a four-year program was devised around him.

However, Hughes and Brockhoff, as well as Scotty James, all extremely talented juniors, started getting results on the international circuit, putting pressure on the funding allocations in its latter stages.

"What were we to do? Chumpy was the one producing all the big results," one official said.

But Brockhoff says the favouritism extended to the pre-Olympic training in Pitztal in Austria, where he claimed Pullin and another athlete, Cam Bolton, had access to a specially designed snowboard cross course. Brockhoff said the coach Ben Wordsworth only invited Team Outcast members to try the course on the last two days of training. Brockhoff said he sold his Sochi tickets "in protest over the lack of support and recognition for my daughter".

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/sochi-winter-games/protest-over-favouritism-on-the-eve-of-alex-pullins-race-for-gold/story-fnl6xsc2-1226829772979#

Biggest potential to win an Olympic medal? Yeah how'd that turn out, officials?

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Biggest potential to win an Olympic medal? Yeah how'd that turn out, officials?

The operating word being potential. Can you name any other Australian that has won two winter world championships over the past decade? Because Chumpy has two. Beside, we're talking about snowboardcross. The list of world class snowboardcross athletes that have completely failed at the Olympics is quite long.

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Thank god I'm finally back. Disappointing about Alex pullin and jarryd but great result by Cam Bolton, hope to see them all in the future.

So glad I got to watch David Morris win silver in the men's aerials for the first time for an Aussie male!

Looks like that might be it for Australia but 3 medals is pretty good for a summer nation like us, some great results as well including Anna Segal just missing out on a medal in 4th place and Greta Small competing in a heap of events!

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What is our anthem for 30 years now?

He's referring to Advance Australia Fair being the official anthem since 1984.

While it was voted National "Song" in 74, it's status against God save the Queen was still fluid (Fraser made it optional except for vice-regal occasions, when we would then definitely use GSTQ) until it was officially declared the national anthem by the Hawke government in April 84. Olympic-wise, we didn't win any Gold in Montreal 76 so it didn't come up. In Moscow 80, we competed under the Olympic Flag instead of the national one, but I just checked and found we still used GSTQ on that occasion. AAF first was used at a games from the Brisbane 82 Commies, and then subsequently at LA. So he's right on both official and Olympic terms.

I still remember singing GSTQ and pledging "I honour my country, I serve the Queen and I salute the flag" before the painting of QEII every morning in my primary school days and into early high school.

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I wasn't sure whether to continue the Chumps saga, but, well, Krow's paying attention to us, and that's pure gold - worth more than flying the cast of Modern Family down here.


Belle’s dad apologises for upsetting Pullin

OLYMPIC parent Bruce Brockhoff has issued a public apology for his ill-timed outburst against the national snowboard cross program, which was aimed at world champion Alex “Chumpy” Pullin on the day the men’s Olympic race was due to be held.

“It was never my intention to upset the men’s boarder cross event nor any one of the contestants, especially Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, Jarryd Hughes nor Cam Bolton on the Australian team,” said Brockhoff, the father of Belle Brockhoff, who finished eighth in the women’s snowboard cross on Sunday.

“I apologise to all those who feel they have been offended including family.”

However he conceded that his missive had been timed to “gain maximum publicity hot on the heels of my daughter Belle’s race at her first Olympics”.

“To delay this email I felt would lessen its impact,” he said.

Earlier, dual Olympic medallist Torah Bright distanced herself from Brockhoff’s views after his claim that the national program unfairly favoured world champion Pullin, who last night made a shock exit in the quarter-finals.

Bright started a group that she called “Team Outcast” late last year and included those snowboarders who were not members of the Olympic Winter Institute — herself, Scotty James, Brockhoff and Jarryd Hughes.

She said it was designed to support those outside the Australian system and she was “appalled” that Brockhoff had used it as a platform to air his grievances about funding for his daughter on the day that the men’s snowboard cross team, was scheduled to compete. The event was postponed until yesterday because of fog.

“Mr Brockhoff should be held accountable for his words,” Bright said. “I am speechless. I am appalled actually.”

“Belle (who is 18) has put on such an incredible show. She rode so well and to have this cast a shadow over her is beyond me.”

But Bright said she did not think the controversy would affect the men’s team ahead of their event. However, none of the three Australians reached the final.

“They are strong and it’s about these guys competing, it’s not about parents meddling and using someone else as a vehicle for their purpose,” she said.

Bright insisted that Team Outcast was not meant to create divisions within the national team.

“Team Outcast to me is something I did to support the people who were outcast like Jarryd Hughes.

“It was for other snowboarders who were outside Australia and for some reason it’s been turned into addressing someone else’s agenda and I am not going to have any part of it. They are using me and this silly little hashtag (Bright began tweeting using #teamoutcast) as a vehicle for their own agenda.”

“I used it for my fellow snowboarders who were outside. That’s all there is to it. Mr Brockhoff has his own agenda and I want nothing to do with it.”

Bright said the issue of funding for athletes would be addressed after the Games but said she had no intention of using Team Outcast as a platform to do it.

Brockhoff said he believed the Team Outcast group had formed because they were disgruntled about funding from the Olympic Winter Institute.

“My wife and I have had a long-running battle with the OWIA (Olympic Winter Institute of Australia) and the Australian Olympic Committee ... in their recognition of Belle’s achievements and appropriate funding over the northern winter’s world cup circuit,” he said.

The Australian

And a bit more on the accounting of Chump's lose change:


Sochi Games: Did Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin deliver enough bang for the taxpayer buck?

Was it all worth it?

Upwards of $500,000 – not the $1 million, as claimed by others – was invested into Alex “Chumpy” Pullin in the last four years in the pursuit of Olympic gold, in the sport of snowboard cross, and he didn’t get as far as the quarters.

Is that enough bang for our buck?

“I’d say about 65 per cent of what Chumpy has received are taxpayer funds,” said Olympic Winter Institute of Australia boss Geoff Lipshut. “But this isn’t cash. This is ‘program operations’. We take the view that if you’re trying to get someone to be the best, $150,000 roughly a year is what it costs. And that’s doing it lean. We did not achieve our KPI [key performance indicator] for year four, and that was a medal at these Games. No one is particularly happy about that.”

At the medal party in Rosa Khutor for men’s aerial freestyle silver medallist Dave Morris on Tuesday night, Pullin and fellow snowboard cross competitor Cam Bolton stood in the bar area and watched replays of that day’s competition. Bolton was sporting a cast on his wrist, which had been broken after crashing in his semi-final. It was the not-so-subtle reminder of how his sport is as easy to win as Powerball, especially when it’s held in rain and fog.

While upset about failing to win the gold medal, Pullin was philosophical about what had transpired on the mountain a few hours earlier.

Others might question the validity of his sport, but then he asks this question: if you’re chasing fame and fortune as an Australian athlete, why would you choose a niche sport like snowboard cross?

“We’re the ones who chase the dream,” Pullin said. “We do it for the pure love of the sport. I grew up on top of a ski shop in Mansfield. We don’t do it for everything that might come with it. We don’t do it for the money, we don’t do it for the chicks.”

It’s the matter of money, though, that has caused apparent division in the team.

The father of Pullin’s snowboarding teammate Belle Brockhoff fired off an angry, rambling email to reporters on the eve of the men’s event, claiming that Pullin had received $1 million in funding while his daughter had received just $38,000.

“The timing of it was disgraceful,” said Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates. “It was very unfair.”

Brockhoff’s figures were also wildly inaccurate, according to Lipshut.

“Absolutely fanciful,” he said. “It would be about 500,000 plus over the four years, which in winter institute terms is quite a lot of money. But Chumpy is a mid-20s athlete, a double world champion. The better you are, the more support you receive.

“More than $38,000 has been spent on Belle Brockhoff. Her funding is commensurate with where she is.”

Funding for both winter and summer athletes is a murky, complex business with support coming from OWIA, NSW and Victorian institutes of sports, and the AOC.

The AOC has invested $10 million over the last four years in winter athletes, none of which is taxpayer funded.

While Pullin did not win the gold as widely tipped and expected – meaning Australia is likely to leave the Winter Games without a gold medal for the first time since Nagano in 1998 – the team has reached Coates’ prediction of three medals.

Just as it is in other sports, there are always complaints about the haves and have-nots.

Lipshut compared the complaints and meddling of the likes of Bruce Brockhoff and the parents of other snowboarders to that of “tennis parents”.

“They are far-fetched allegations,” he said. “The casualties are the athletes. Whatever Bruce Brockhoff’s issues are, clearly they are not those of Belle. I’ve spoken to Belle and they are not her issues. He’s never spoken to me as the CEO of the OWIA. When it comes to scholarship issues, I’m the one he should speak to. He refuses to speak to me, because he doesn’t want to speak to me.”

It is becoming apparent that the splinter group “Team Outcast”, headed by Torah Bright and including Scotty James, Belle Brockhoff and Jarryd Hughes, has outgrown its purpose.

Bright said the group had been “hijacked” by aggrieved parents, and cornered Lipshut earlier in the week to explain her position.

She was not at the medal party on Tuesday night, having flown out of Russia that day.

“I spoke to Torah,” Lipshut said. “Team Outcast is something she came up with, with another American snowboarder, and other people have latched onto it. She feels like it’s been hijacked, as she has said.

“Torah is a unique snowboarder. She is brilliant. She makes her living by being very marketable out of North America. She is not part of our system. There’s only one Torah Bright. She’s one of the greats.

“Torah has been offered scholarships from us and she doesn’t accept them. She’s in a different world. She lives in North America, she’s sponsored. She doesn’t accept assistance because she’s over the means test. Her journey is a different journey. She is disappointed all this has blown up.”

Sydney Morning Herald

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Instead of wasting taxpayer money on Chumpy they should spend more on the up and coming athletes so we have more chances in a variety of events. Chumpy didn't even need money he already had sponsorship's, wish the money went elsewhere!

But if you read the story, you'll see it's not so much a matter of Chumpy being handed cash, but the cost of the funds to maintain the snowboard program, which would include the base in Austria and the track set up there.

And, yes, Chumpy and those who signed up for the OWIA program had more access to the facilities. But of course they did - they signed up for the program and the facilities were set up for the program. The others decided to sign onto different schemes.

It's always going to be controversial when determining Olympic funding priorities. Yes, you have to identify, look after and develop your grass roots and up-and-comers. But at the end of the day success will be judged on medals, which means you need to look after your elite as well.

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Perhaps they should take some money away from snowboard cross and into safer events. I know it sounds harsh and I can imagine how hard it is to figure out how much funding goes where but this event is extremely unreliable and the dude never had an olympic medal. Twice now he has under performed so perhaps they need to limit his funding. Perhaps invest in Men's aerial skiing where we won a surprise medal, although David Morris isn't planning on continuing on his aerial skiing. However, i'm sure someone in Australia can land some of those impressive moves but just need the facilities. Or invest more in bobsleigh, 14th wasn't too bad last night especially seeing as we had a (I think it was) $50000 bobsled whilst USA had a 21 million dollar one.

I'm sure they will change some funding as they prepare for Pyeongchang but hopefully we get a gold there!

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We have indeed been investing a lot in aerial skiing for close on 20 years now - back to Jacqui Cooper's first attempts in 94. It's been our biggest focus for some time, and has yielded the best and most consistent results for us. A very successful an carefully planned and targetted strategy by the AOC and OWIA.

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Sorry, I was referring to the Men's area of aerial skiing.

From what I've gathered, Morris has used much of the same facilities and resources as the women. It's not the resourcing that's been the issue, but the lack of interest by Aussie blokes to get involved in it.

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Belle’s dad apologises for upsetting Pullin

“It was never my intention to upset the men’s boarder cross event nor any one of the contestants, especially Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, Jarryd Hughes nor Cam Bolton on the Australian team,” said Brockhoff, the father of Belle Brockhoff, who finished eighth in the women’s snowboard cross on Sunday.

“I apologise to all those who feel they have been offended including family.”

However he conceded that his missive had been timed to “gain maximum publicity hot on the heels of my daughter Belle’s race at her first Olympics”.

“To delay this email I felt would lessen its impact,” he said.

i believe that was a paraphrase from his original statement of: "sorry if you were offended by my psyche-out publicity stunt, you overpaid son of a bitch loser. #sorrynotsorry"

i'm so glad belle's two goals coming into these olympics were to 1) win a medal and 2) present a positive, drama free image of the modern, humble lesbian athlete, and that she is currently 0/2. now if she had just blamed obama for her loss i'd swear she was a sleeper american.

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From what I've gathered, Morris has used much of the same facilities and resources as the women. It's not the resourcing that's been the issue, but the lack of interest by Aussie blokes to get involved in it.

They should recruit more like they did with Morris.

i believe that was a paraphrase from his original statement of: "sorry if you were offended by my psyche-out publicity stunt, you overpaid son of a bitch loser. #sorrynotsorry"

i'm so glad belle's two goals coming into these olympics were to 1) win a medal and 2) present a positive, drama free image of the modern, humble lesbian athlete, and that she is currently 0/2. now if she had just blamed obama for her loss i'd swear she was a sleeper american.

:lol::lol::lol:

Except she said after her event "'After I compete,'' ''I'm willing to rip on (Putin's) ass. I'm not happy and there's a bunch of other Olympians who are not happy either.''

She might have to. She might be the only one."

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/winter-olympics/sochi-winter-olympics-belle-brockhoff--making-a-stand-takes-real-bravery-20140214-32roy.html#ixzz2tpyHjASd

Sounds like Belle is into some real kinky stuff.

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