(ATR) Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Vice President Ian Chesterman will be the Australian team's chef de mission for Tokyo 2020.
Chesterman will be leading his sixth Australian Olympic Winter Team to PyeongChang, South Korea in February and is looking forward to trying his hand in the Summer Games.
"I’m very athlete focused in my approach and I’ll take that approach in the summer Games," Chesterman said. "It doesn’t matter if you are in a ski suit or a swimsuit, you’re an athlete first and that’s my task now with my team executive and the AOC staff to create an environment where these athletes can do their best on their biggest day, which is obviously an Olympic competition day."
The 58-year-old Chesterman is also no stranger to working with the Japanese, having led his first Olympic Team in Nagano in 1998.
"Tokyo will put on an exceptional Games. My first Games as chef de mission in Nagano in 1998 were brilliant. Japan did a wonderful job then and I'm sure will do so again," he said.
Chesterman’s appointment received unanimous support from the AOC Executive and continues the practice of filling the position with a member of that panel.
"Ian has long played a key role in the successful preparation of our Olympic Winter Teams and we are excited to have him on board for the Tokyo 2020 Games," said AOC President John Coates. "We are confident he will be able to replicate the positive structures and leadership he has put in place for winter sports into the summer chef de mission position and in turn give our athletes the best opportunity to thrive."
Chesterman replaces Kitty Chiller, who opted not to pursue the job for Tokyo. Chiller became the first woman to serve as chef de mission for Australia at the Rio Games.
Australian athletes struggled in Rio. The country's total of 29 medals, eight of them gold, was the worst for a Summer Games since Barcelona in 1992.
Written by Gerard Farek
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