January 25, 2006

Camplin heads record Australian team for Turin

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Olympic freestyle skiing champion
Alisa Camplin heads a record contingent of Australian athletes
going to next month's Winter Games in Turin, the Australian
Olympic Committee (AOC) said on Wednesday.

Camplin, who won the aerials gold medal in Salt Lake City
four years ago, recently returned to competition after
recovering from a radical knee reconstruction in which she
received a ligament from a dead donor.

Michelle Steele will be Australia's first Olympic
competitor in skeleton, while Astrid Loch-Wilkinson and Kylie
Reed are their country's first Olympic women's bobsleigh

A record 40 athletes, 22 men and 18 women, will be in
Turin, and AOC secretary-general Craig Phillips said it was a
sign of the growing popularity of winter sports in Australia.

"It is fantastic. It is good to see such a strong
representation of women with almost a 50-50 split across the
team," Phillips said.

"It's also recognition, I think, that we now have athletes
performing at the highest level on the world stage in some of
these winter disciplines."

Australia won its first Winter Olympics gold medals in Salt
Lake through Camplin and Steven Bradbury, who claimed gold in
the men's short-track speed skating after the other competitors
fell on the final bend. Bradbury has now retired from the

Australian team:

Alpine skiing - A.J. Bear, Craig Branch, Jonathon Brauer,
Bradley Wall.

Biathlon - Cameron Morton.

Bobsleigh - Astrid Loch-Wilkinson, Shane McKenzie, Kylie
Reed, Jeremy Rolleston.

Cross country skiing - Esther Bottomley, Clare-Louise
Brumley, Paul Murray.

Figure skating - Jo Carter.

Freestyle skiing - Dale Begg-Smith, Jason Begg-Smith,
Manuela Berchtold, Alisa Camplin, Jacqui Cooper, Nicholas
Fisher, Elizabeth Gardner, Lydia Ierodiaconou, Michael

Luge - Hannah Campbell-Pegg.

Short-track speed skating - Lachlan Hay, Stephen Lee, Alex
McEwan, Mark McNee, Emily Rosemond, Elliott Shriane.

Skeleton - Shaun Boyle, Michelle Steele.

Snowboard - Mitchell Allan, Torah Bright, Andrew Burton,
Holly Crawford, Damon Hayler, Ben Mates, Emanual Oppliger,
Johanna Shaw, Emily Thomas.