Sport Winter Olympics 2018 Winter Olympics 2018: Steven Bradbury reviews Australia’s performance

Winter Olympics 2018: Steven Bradbury reviews Australia’s performance

Scotty James Winter Olympics
Scotty James was beaten by Shawn White in a thrilling halfpipe final. Photo: Getty
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Australia leaves Pyeongchang with two silver medals and a bronze, exactly the same result we achieved in Sochi four years ago.

I thought we would beat that performance in South Korea but I am still very proud of our athletes for the way they have performed.

And I hope everyone agrees.

I hear you saying as you read this: “Three medals is great, but we didn’t get a gold.”

But this is sun-drenched Australia we are talking about.

We have never won more than three medals at a Winter Games and medals at this event cost the taxpayer a fraction of what each summer Olympics medal costs. It’s good value for money, if you ask me.

I believe that the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Olympic Committee and the Olympic Winter Institute are doing an amazing job of helping our small band of winter athletes get a chance to grab more elusive winter gold.

And I reckon we’ll break that drought in Beijing in four years’ time, simply because luck was not on the side of many of our Aussie champions over the past fortnight.

I felt that Britt Cox (moguls), Scotty James (snowboard halfpipe), Alex Pullin (snowboard cross), Lydia Lassila, Danielle Scott and David Morris (all aerials) were our best hopes for gold.

Britt took too much risk and finished fifth, while luck eluded Scotty, who won bronze, and Alex, in particular.

I thought Lydia’s performance was simply heartbreaking – she deserved to go out in better fashion.

Lydia Lassila Winter Olympics
Pyeongchang was disappointing but Lydia Lassila remains a Winter Olympics hero for past successes. Photo: Getty

That girl is a legend.

Go and buy the DVD The Will To Fly and show it to your kids. It will breed champions!

One jump in the aerials finals is not enough, and it cost Danielle Scott and David Morris, who was done over by the judges. You don’t have to be an expert to see that.

David should have progressed from the first round of jumps but was somehow beaten by Jiu Zongyang, who crashed!

Jiu went on to win a silver medal but David should have been in the final nine.

It was great to see Jarryd Hughes and Matt Graham win silver but my Australian highlight of the Games was actually the performance of Anton Grimus in the ski cross.

He put down the fastest run in practice and the course really suited his big frame.

He could have been our bolter to take home the gold but unfortunately went down and broke his collarbone. The Winter Olympics can do that.

I also loved the effort of Dajing Wu in the men’s 500m short-track speed skating (yes, I’m biased towards my own sport). He broke the world record twice in the one evening. That was brilliant.

Another highlight for me was the television ratings, which really showed that Australia gets on board for the Winter Games.

Constantly moving between the Seven Network’s suite of channels and the app proved a little awkward on occasions, but the coverage was great and Seven did really well with the athlete profiles.

The viewer was able to get a nice insight into all of our medal hopes before they competed and the action itself was often unpredictable theatre.

So, Australia, it’s now official.

We love the Winter Olympics and we are good at them now too. This Aussie is proud.

In 1994, Steven Bradbury was part of the short-track speed skating relay team that won Australia’s first Winter Olympics medal. And in 2002, he became Australia’s first gold medallist at the Winter Games.

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