Australia’s Commonwealth Games athletes separate on COVID-safe mission

Thomas said the athletes were keenly aware of the importance of the Commonwealth Games as an event in its own right, but also as a stepping stone to careers.

“I think [with] the Commonwealth Games you don’t have to give them too much guidance – they know the importance of it and they know that many athletes from various sports have prioritized the Commonwealth Games this year over other events , which is just fantastic,” she said. said.

Petria Thomas celebrates after winning a gold medal in the 100 meter butterfly at the Athens Olympics.Credit:PA

“We always talk about the relevance of the Commonwealth Games, but you only have to see the passion with which the athletes compete at the Commonwealth Games and see the looks on their faces when they realize what they have set themselves to know to how important it is is up to them.

“They understand, and they don’t need any extra motivation – they know it’s an important event and Australians enjoy the Commonwealth Games, and we’ve had a great history and success in the games.”

Thomas, the former Olympic and Commonwealth gold medalist swimmer, said winning gold in the 100m butterfly in Victoria, Canada, in 1994 changed her career and helped her understand how to win and win. Olympic gold in Athens.

“It gave me the confidence to believe I was good enough to be on the world stage and it taught me how to win,” she said.

Australia will send its largest team to overseas games, with 435 athletes, including pilots and guides for some para-athletes. Only the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games team was bigger.

Five Australian women will compete in their fifth or sixth Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

Five Australian women will compete in their fifth or sixth Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.Credit:Getty Images/SMH

Despite skepticism about the relevance and interest of the Commonwealth Games as a concept – with no city bidding to host the next games and Victoria being encouraged to host the games as a slightly pared down regional event – Birmingham is set to have the biggest crowd ever at the Commonwealth Games.

British media reported 16 days after the start of matches that 1.2 million tickets had been sold, equaling the Gold Coast’s total match sales and just 100,000 less than Glasgow’s attendance. It was expected that by the end of the games this figure would be greatly exceeded.

By scale comparison, the London Olympics sold 11 million tickets.

The Commonwealth Games bring together athletes from 72 countries who compete in 20 sports over 11 days. The Tokyo Olympics, on the other hand, saw 11,000 athletes from 206 countries competing in 302 events in 36 sports over 16 days.

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