Australia at the 1988 Winter Olympics
Australia competed at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Eighteen athletes participated, competing in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, figure skating and speed skating, and for the first time bobsleigh. Australia's best result was tenth by Danny Kah in the 5000 metres speed skating.
|Australia at the|
1988 Winter Olympics
|NOC||Australian Olympic Committee|
|Competitors||18 in 6 sports|
|Flag bearer||Michael Richmond|
|Winter Olympics appearances (overview)|
|Other related appearances|
|1906 Intercalated Games|
There had earlier been hopes that Janine Shepherd would do well at these Olympics, but she was hit by a car and made a paraplegic while training for it.
|Run 1||Rank||Run 2||Rank||Total||Rank|
|Peter Forras||Downhill||N/A||Did not finish|
|Super G||N/A||Did not finish|
|Richard Biggins||Super G||N/A||1:47.38||31|
|Slalom||Did not finish|
|Time||Time 1||Time 2||Points||Rank|
|Peter Forras||Did not finish|
|Steven Lee||Did not finish|
|Athlete||Event||Run 1||Run 2||Run 3||Run 4||Total|
|Adrian Di Piazza
|Adrian Di Piazza
|Chris Heberle||15 km classical||45:19.5||33|
|30 km classical||1:34:25.6||45|
|David Hislop||15 km classical||50:19.8||70|
|30 km classical||1:38:48.8||62|
|Tracy Brook||Ladies'||N/A||15.6||9.2||Did not advance|
|Monica MacDonald & Rodney Clarke||Ice dance||12.0||8.0||20.0||40.0||20|
This was the sixth Winter Olympics for Colin Coates, having competed in every Winter Olympics since 1968. Although registered as a competitor, he was regarded by the AOC as an official. General manager and Chef de Mission Geoff Henke later said about this arrangement
- His own parent organisation, the Australian Skating Union, refused to endorse him as a competitor. I asked them several times if perhaps he could compete, but they said no; they felt they should concentrate on building potential for the future. Finally we did list him among the entries, but on the strict understanding that he would not compete ... The listing boosted team numbers on paper, allowing us to provide adequate numbers of support staff, but more importantly the competitor status meant that Colin would be able to share ice time with the speed skaters, train with them, give them the benefit of his experience.
He unsuccessfully tried to convince the Geoff to allow him to compete, saying "No Colin, it's not on. Your own sport won't nominate you, and that's the end of it. You're training with the athletes, but not skating in the Games. You've known that since we left Australia". After other rejected requests, he gave the impression of accepting the situation. "I had the power to take his entry out, and probably that's what I should have done. But I trusted him. He knew that he was not to compete." Instead, when the event was on, he put on a uniform and skated his best time ever.
- I looked up, and all of a sudden I could see Colin. I thought at first it must have been an old video they were screening, but then I saw he had the current uniform on, and the realisation dawned that he was skating in the race, defying my orders. He had set the whole thing up behind my back. Some team members knew what he was up to. I actually leapt up and started running. I took off for the track, half a mile away through a tunnel. When I surfaced I was in the middle of the arena, ready to put my arms around his throat and drag him off. He was halfway through the event, the course announcer had mentioned that this was his sixth Games, and a lot of very enthusiastic people, including the King of Sweden, were cheering him on. I was as angry as I'd ever been, really wanting to bundle him off the course. Then I calmed down, and thought ... no, I'll finish up making history, too. I didn't want to do a Percy Cerutty kind of thing, so I waited until he finished.
After the race, Geoff ran on the ice without skates and reprimanded him:
- I told him in no uncertain terms what I thought of him. I used words I'd never normally use. As far as I was concerned, he'd skated illegally. I'd helped him a lot in his own sport, and he'd let me down.
Coates wept in response. Colin then received congratulations for skating at six Olympics, including from the prime minister Bob Hawke. Geoff relented "At that point, I settled for discretion rather than valour. I stopped going crook. The man was a public hero. He did the wrong thing by me, but his was an incredible performance, and nobody could ever take that away from him."
|Mike Richmond||500 m||37.77||23|
|Phillip Tahmindjis||1000 m||1:16.38||31|
|Danny Kah||1500 m||1:55.19||14|
|Colin Coates||10000 m||14:41.88||26|
- "XV Olympic Winter Games: Official Report - XVes Jeux Olympiques d'hiver: rapport officiel" (PDF). XV Olympic Winter Games Organizing Committee. LA84 Foundation. 1988. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
- Australia NOC
- Olympic Winter Institute of Australia
- "2002 Australian Winter Olympic Team Guide" PDF file
- "The Compendium: Official Australian Olympic Statistics 1896-2002" Australian Olympic Committee ISBN 0-7022-3425-7 (Inconsistencies in sources mentioned in Wikibooks:Errata/0702234257)
- Australia at the games: Calgary 1988 Australian Olympic Committee web site.
- "Australia and the Olympic Games" by Harry Gordon. ISBN 0-7022-2627-0
- "Winter Olympic Games (15th: 1988: Calgary, Alta.). Organizing Committee. XV Olympic Games: official report" ISBN 0-921060-26-2 (online copy)