The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has formally added six members to its boxing squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including three Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games medallists.
All six of the boxers will be making their Olympic Games debut, making for an exciting opportunity for the squad, and taking the number of selected athletes in the Australian Olympic Team to 102 of an expected 450-480, taking the number to 49 Commonwealth Games Australia Alumni members set to compete in Tokyo.
Nicolson and Parker will contest the women’s feather and middle weight classes respectively, while Paolo Aokuso, Garside, Justis Huni and Alex Winwood will contest the men’s light-heavyweight, lightweight, super heavyweight and flyweight divisions.
Aokuso, Huni, Nicolson, Parker and Winwood secured their quota at the Asian Qualification Tournament in Amman Jordan in February last year, one of the last global sporting events held before the pandemic postponed international competition. With the final global boxing qualifying tournament scheduled for June this year cancelled by the IOC in February, Garside’s world ranking secured his quota for selection.
Gold Coast gold medallist Nicolson’s selection continues a family legacy, with her brother Jamie Nicolson boxing for Australia at the Barcelona 1992 Games after he debuted at the Auckland 1990 Commonwealth Games.
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Tragically, both Jamie and younger brother Gavin were killed in a car accident on their way to boxing training in the Gold Coast in 1994, a year before Skye was born.
The 25-year-old Queenslander now adds the Olympic bond to their incredible shared connection.
“I feel very proud, and like I’ve made my family really proud,” Nicolson told the AOC.
“It’s so special I can have this connection to Jamie following in the same footsteps, and for sport to have that power to build such an ongoing connection between us.
“Honestly it still doesn’t feel real, the delay has felt so long, it’s so exciting to officially be named on the Olympic team.
“The wait has been hard, but I’m more focused than ever on getting to Tokyo and winning Australia’s first ever Olympic gold medal in boxing.
“That’s the ultimate goal. It’s all the one percenters, getting to bed, avoiding distractions, doing everything I can, every minute of every day, so I can bring the best version of me to the ring in Tokyo.”
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Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman congratulated the boxers on their selection.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Alex, Caitlin, Harry, Justis, Paulo and Skye to the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo,” Mr Chesterman said.
“More than a year after winning their way through the qualifying tournament in Jordan, this is a special day to be officially selected to their debut Olympics.
“They have shown incredible fortitude and commitment to stay ready and keep working to be at their best for Tokyo. Their selection is a fantastic recognition and reward for the many years of work they have put in, in gyms, in the ring and competing internationally, to reach this milestone.
“It’s also a day for the families, friends, supporters and teammates of the boxers to celebrate this achievement and to thank Boxing Australia, the coaching and support staff for all the work they have put in to help these athletes realise their Olympic dream.”
Today’s selection brings the number of selected athletes in the Australian Olympic Team to 102 of an expected 450-480, taking the number to 49 Commonwealth Games Australia Alumni members set to compete in Tokyo, with Alex Winwood the first Indigenous athlete selected for the Olympic Team.
The 23-year-old flyweight from Western Australia is thrilled to lock in his selection for Tokyo.
“Being able to represent my country and my heritage is exactly who I am, I want to bring everyone together, my country and my people at the same time,´ Winwood said.
“With everything that happened since I qualified, it’s just such a relief that I’m at this point now, getting ready for the Games and finally being announced to the team.”
Boxing Australia CEO Josh O’Brien welcomed today’s selection.
“Boxing Australia is incredibly proud of the six athletes selected for the 2020 Olympic Games,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The resilience they have shown over the past year to keep punching through so much uncertainty is a credit to them. We can’t wait to see them perform in Tokyo.”
Australian boxers selected to the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo
|Name||Event||Age||State||Olympic Experience||Commonwealth Games Experience|
|Harry Garside||Lightweight||23||VIC||Debut||2018 - 60kg - Gold|
|Skye Nicolson||Featherweight||25||QLD||Debut||2018 - 57kg - Gold|
|Caitlin Parker||Middleweight||24||VIC||Debut||2018 - 75kg - Silver|