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Australia at the 1964 Winter Olympics

Australia at the Olympic Games

Flag of Australia
IOC code  AUS
NOC Australian Olympic Committee
Website www.olympics.com.au
At the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck
Competitors 6 in 1 sport
Medals Gold
0
Silver
0
Bronze
0
Total
0
Olympic history (summary)
Summer Games
* with New Zealand as Australasia
Winter Games
Intercalated Games
1906

Australia competed at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Six athletes were sent, and Australia competed only in Alpine skiing. Australia's best result was Christine Smith's 27th place in downhill.

The games were marred by tragedy due to the deaths of Australian skier Ross Milne and Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypecki a Polish-born British luge athlete during practice.

A minute's silence was given for them in the opening ceremony. Peter Brockhoff withdrew from the downhill event, saying "I simply cannot compete on this course where I lost my best friend". Australian reserve Peter Wenzel competed in the downhill along with Simon Brown.

Contents

  • Investigation into Ross's death 1
  • Alpine skiing 2
  • See also 3
  • External links 4
  • References 5

Investigation into Ross's death

An inquiry held by the organising committee said that Ross "caught an edge". Hugh Weir reported to the Australian Olympic Federation that

Because Ross Milne was only seventeen years of age, the question was raised at the [Innsbruck] IOC meeting as to whether inexperienced people were being sent to compete in ... snow sports which contain an element of danger.

Dr Blaxland said that he was wrong about his age (he was nineteen), and that the IOC was wrong to suggest he was inexperienced:

In our view Ross Milne was an extremely competent skier. He had competed in Australian championships at least four years before, and we considered him to be an experienced skier. He had been in Europe before ... His fall was not due to lack of skill on his part

Manager John Wagner said that Milne had found the path 150 metres ahead of him obscured by contestants congregating because the top part of the downhill course was overcrowded, and tried to slow down "on a spot which was not prepared for stopping or swinging". He argued that the accident might have been prevented by stricter management of the downhill course, which had a hundred racers on it. He also said that "any of the top skiers would probably have been in difficulty in a similar situation".

His brother Malcolm Milne competed in the 1968 and 1972 Winter Olympics. He said that the suggestion that skiers from Australia and New Zealand should not compete on downhill courses gave him motivation to prove that they were capable of doing so.

Alpine skiing

Peter Brockhoff withdrew from the downhill event, but Simon Brown and Peter Wenzel competed in the event, with John Wagner saying "They wanted to prove Australians can handle the difficult downhill course".

[1]

Men
Athlete Event Qualifying Final
Run 1 Rank Run 2 Rank Run 1 Rank Run 2 Rank Total Rank
Simon Brown Downhill N/A 2:44.07 61
Giant slalom N/A 2:12.61 51
Slalom 1:06.83 58 1:05.88 44 Did not advance
Peter Wenzel Downhill N/A 2:55.58 68
Giant slalom N/A 2:27.72 68
Slalom 1:08.68 63 1:10.25 49 Did not advance
Peter Brockhoff Giant slalom N/A 2:18.68 62
Slalom 1:05.32 55 1:04.58 42 Did not advance
Women
Athlete Event Run 1 Run 2 Final/Total
Time Rank Time Rank Time Diff Rank
Judy Forras Downhill N/A 2:13.83 +18.44 42
Giant slalom N/A 2:17.36 +25.12 40
Slalom Did not finish
Christine Smith Downhill N/A 2:03.82 +8.43 27
Giant slalom N/A Did not finish
Slalom 58.09 30 65.58 27 2:03.67 +33.81 28

See also

External links

  • Australia NOC
  • Olympic Winter Institute of Australia

References

  1. ^
  • "Australians at the Olympics: A definitive history" by Gary Lester ISBN 0-949853-05-4 (suspected errata listed in Errata/0949853054)
  • "2002 Australian Winter Olympic Team Guide" PDF file
  • "Australia and the Olympic Games" by Harry Gordon. ISBN 0-7022-2627-0
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